I’m not a history buff, but I do enjoy learning about history from time to time. That’s why this weekend when my family was looking for something to do, we decided to visit Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pennsylvania.
Fort Necessity is only a few miles from my house, but yet it’s one place I’ve rarely ever been to. Up until this weekend, I only knew that George Washington and other troops fought a battle there in the French and Indian War. Other than those few facts, I barely knew anything about the fort.
Thankfully, Fort Necessity National Battlefield is one of the few national parks in the country to offer free admission that gets you access inside a really cool (& educational) museum, a Fort Necessity replica, and the old Washington Tavern, next door.
The Fort Necessity Battle (What Actually Happened)!
Now that we’ve visited the Fort Necessity Battlefield, I finally know what happened during the battle and how the fort got its name. On July 3, 1754, the opening battle of the French & Indian War took place at Fort Necessity. A battle that George Washington wasn’t even expecting, Fort Necessity was only supposed to be a place to store ammunition and necessities.
But on that morning 600 French and 100 Indians approached the small fort. Ultimately, when the battle ended, George Washington surrendered his command to the French and the British troops left the next morning.
While there is so much more to the story, that’s just a quick summary. In fact, if you’re a history buff, the nearby area Pennsylvania has many other battlefields to visit including the Battle of Jumonville Glen, which played a big part in the Battle of Fort Necessity.
Visiting Fort Necessity National Park
Located just 20-miles from the Maryland State line, 11-miles from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 34-miles from Morgantown, West Virginia, and 75-miles from Pittsburgh, Fort Necessity is great for a weekend visit.
While the park is opened year-round, spring and summertime seem to be the best time to visit because you get more of an authentic experience. For instance, this past weekend we got to take pictures and ask questions with a British soldier. Though the solider may not be there every day, it seems like on the weekend you may have a better chance of seeing him.
An Interesting Learning Experience at Fort Necessity Battlefield
A visit to the Fort Necessity Battlefield is great for all ages. The national park offers a playground, picnic area, and an educational piece of this country’s rich history.
When you arrive at Fort Necessity National Battlefield, you’ll quickly notice that the national park is more than just a memorial of the battle that took place there. Fort Necessity is also home to the National Road Heritage Corridor. Inside, you’ll find educational materials and hands-on activities that teach you all about the battle and the importance of the historic National Road, that runs nearby.
Once outside, kids can play inside a fort replica and a horse carriage playground and take pictures of themselves as real-life Indians and French troops.
Besides just playing around, Fort Necessity also has an outdoor picnic area that is only a small walk to the Fort.
Once at the fort, visitors can experience a real-life Fort replica, that is almost too picturesque. Located all alone in a big field, the fort can usually be experienced with minimal visitors. On days when the fort doesn’t have the British Soldier to answer questions, the park offers a free self-guided phone tour.
While the Fort Necessity fort is only a replica because the original one got burned down, this replica is exactly like the original. The fort is built in the exact place and is the exact size of the original.
Once you visit the Fort Necessity National Battlefield, you can finish up your National Park visit with a small car ride next door to the Mt. Washington Tavern. (Though you can normally walk to the tavern, the park is currently undergoing field renovations, so visitors have to drive).
Read my post on the Mt. Washington Tavern HERE!
While a visit to Fort Necessity National Battlefield won’t take you all day, you can easily spend 1-2 hours there and will learn so much. If you want to learn more about this battle and the fort check out the park on the national parks website.
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This is not a sponsored post. My family visited the fort on our own time and I did not work with the park in any way.