Valley Forge National Historical Park | BAPTIST TRACE

Baptist Trace at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Baptist Trace at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Length: .75 mile
Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Download the Valley Forge Trail Map (PDF)

The Baptist Trace at Valley Forge National Historical Park is open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. It runs between the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail near Varnum’s Quarters on its northern end and the J. P. Martin Trail near Redoubt 3 on its southern end. There is no parking at either trailhead, so to reach the Baptist Trace you must hike part way on other trails (mainly the J. P. Martin Trail).

It is easy to get to the Baptist Trace from Varnum’s Quarters, as the trailhead is within eyesight of the parking lot, but on the south end it’s a little more complicated. The southern trailhead is about a half mile from the parking lots for the Wayne’s Woods Picnic Area and Knox’s Quarters. If coming from either of these locations on the J. P. Martin Trail, the trail eventually makes a sharp turn up a steep hill near Redoubt 3 (right turn if coming from Wayne’s Woods and left turn if coming from Knox’s Quarters). The trail forks near the top, with the paved J. P. Martin Trail continuing straight and an unidentified gravel trail branching off to the right. The gravel trail is the Baptist Trace.

Northern trailhead of the Baptist Trace near Varnum's Quarters at Valley Forge

Northern trailhead of the Baptist Trace near Varnum’s Quarters at Valley Forge

There isn’t much reason to hike the Baptist Trace other than as part of a hike on the Grand Parade Trail, which is how I came to travel on it. I hiked to the loop portion of the Grand Parade Trail by taking the connector from Varnum’s Quarters, but on the way back I took the connector to the Baptist Trace and returned to Varnum’s Quarters along it just to changes things up.

The Baptist Trace is a former road, so it is wide and relatively flat. It passes a few historically accurate reconstructions of cabins used by the Continental Army soldiers during their stay at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78. You can also get some nice views of the Grand Parade Ground meadow from the trail. The parade ground is the area where the soldiers trained, drilled, and were inspected during their encampment at Valley Forge.

Soldier cabins along the Baptist Trace at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Soldier cabins along the Baptist Trace at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Historically accurate reconstructions of soldier cabins at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Historically accurate reconstructions of soldier cabins at Valley Forge National Historical Park

The Grand Parade Grounds at Valley Forge National Historical Park as seen from the Baptist Trace

The Grand Parade Grounds at Valley Forge National Historical Park as seen from the Baptist Trace

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Last updated on May 31, 2022
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