This 41-acre park tells the story of the Army of the Potomac’s Winter Encampment in 1863. More than 135,000 soldiers occupied Stafford County while their new commander, General Joseph Hooker rebuilt his army. This critical time has been referred to in soldier’s letters as “The Union Army’s Valley Forge.” The Stafford Civil War Park preserves 3 earthen artillery fortifications, many winter hut holes, a Colonial bridge abutment and a corduroy road.
The park opened in April 2013 is located along Accokeek Creek just outside Stafford on Mount Hope Road. You will go through a residential area to get to the park entrance.
Location: 400 Mount Hope Church Road, Stafford, VA 22554 (approx. 10 miles from Fredericksburg)
Hours: 8 am – 8 pm April – October; and 8 am – 5:30 pm November – March.
Website: Stafford Civil War Park
Down load a map of the park HERE.
Information: There are five different areas to drive (or hike) to in this park. Each stop has 2-4 regular parking spots and one handicapped spot. At each you can park and take a nice walk through the woods. There are information boards and signs marking points of interest throughout each. Stop #2 has restrooms and a nice picnic gazebo.
Tour Stop #1 allows visitors to explore the actual ruins of huts built by Union soldiers during their “Valley Forge” winter. Stone fireplaces can still be seen, along with holes in the ground that soldiers dug for insulation as part of their hut construction.
Tip: Look at the map before heading to the park. We didn’t and were confused at where to start. We ended up starting at Stop #4 and ending with Stop #1.
When you enter the park, head straight. This will take you to stop #1. You can pick up a trail map at the big sign. The trails are not marked very well so the map will help.
Even if you are not interested in history, these trails are perfect for a short or longer walk. The trails are beautiful with great streams to cross. They are not stroller friendly. This park is the perfect place for a picnic.