Fort Necessity National Battlefield | PARK AT A GLANCE

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Fort Necessity National Battlefield


Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located in Farmington, Pennsylvania. The park preserves the battle grounds where French Canadian troops and British colonial militia under the command of Colonel George Washington clashed on July 3, 1754, in one of the early battles of the French and Indian War. The battle took its name from the small fort, Fort Necessity, that Washington and his men had built just a month earlier. The British were defeated in the battle, and it was the only time in George Washington’s military career that he surrendered. Both sides were supported by various American Indian tribes, but the French relied heavily on the Indians, as French population in North America was only a third of the British population.

The park’s Visitor Center houses a museum dedicated to the events that took place at Fort Necessity, the French and Indian War and the subsequent Seven Years War, the National Road, and the creation of Fort Necessity National Battlefield. After familiarizing yourself with the area’s history, head out to the back of the building and take a quarter-mile paved path to a reconstruction of Fort Necessity. For those looking for a little exercise, there are five miles of trails that start from the fort area. If you need a bite to eat, the park also has picnicking facilities.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield museum inside the Visitor Center

Fort Necessity National Battlefield Museum inside the Visitor Center

Fort Necessity National Battlefield includes two sub units, both a short drive from the battlefield. Jumonville Glen is the site of an even earlier fight between the English and French. In fact, it was this fight that spurred the French to send more troops into the area, which eventually led to the battle at Fort Necessity.

Braddock’s Grave is where British General Edward Braddock is buried. Subsequent to the fighting at Fort Necessity, a battle fought by colonial militias, England sent a professional army to American under the command of General Braddock. During the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755, Braddock was wounded and died four days later. He was originally buried in the road he had built, the Braddock Road, so that Indians loyal to France would not find and desecrate his body. In 1804, what is thought to be his remains were discovered during a road repair and were reinterred on a nearby hill. The grave is now marked with a marble monument that was erected in 1913.

The park also promotes the history of the National Road, the first highway built by the United States government. Construction took place between 1811 and 1837. The road ran from Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River to Vandalia, Illinois. It was supposed to end in St. Louis on the Mississippi River, but funding ran out. The road passed through the area now occupied by Fort Necessity National Battlefield, which is its connection to the park. Taverns catering to travelers became a common fixture on the National Road, with one being the Mount Washington Tavern in Farmington. The tavern still stands and is open to visitors. It is accessible by vehicle or a short trail from the Visitor Center.


Fort Necessity National Battlefield Visitor Center is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

The park grounds, trails, and Braddock’s Grave are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Mount Washington Tavern is open from 10 AM to 4 PM starting May 1st and continuing through the end of October.

Jumonville Glen is open from sunrise to sunset starting May 1st and continuing through the end of October.

Times can always change, so before traveling to the park, be sure to get the current schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Fort Necessity National Battlefield.


There is no charge to visit Fort Necessity National Battlefield.


Fort Necessity Tour
allow 1 hour for a Ranger-guided tour, 30 minutes for a self-guided tour

Visitor Center
allow 1 to 2 hours

Mount Washington Tavern
allow 15 minutes

Braddock’s Grave
allow 15 minutes

Jumonville Glen
allow 15 to 45 minutes

Hiking Trails
5 miles of trails

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Last updated on February 16, 2023
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