19th century photograph of Union soldiers dressed for battle, standing inside Fort Stevens with several cannons positioned, ready to fire. Most stand on the grass.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Civil War Washington Forts: An Interpretive Hike of Civil War Defenses of Washington

Saturday, November 18, 2023

duration 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
rating Free. For teachers of grades K-12.
warning This is an outdoor, 1.5-mile walking hike over both paved and unpaved paths.

When the Civil War broke out, Washington, D.C. was surrounded by slave-holding states and confederate sympathizers. In the summer of 1861, 68 forts were hastily built to defend this city. These forts remain part of our city today. The 1.5-mile outdoor hike will take educators from Fort DeRussy to Fort Stevens.

Where: Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Rd NW,
Washington, D.C. 20015. Near the intersection of Military Road and Glover Road.

Parking and Transportation: Free parking is available at the Nature Center. A shuttle bus will be available at Fort Stevens to return you to the Nature Center.

What to Bring: Please wear good walking/hiking shoes and dress for the weather.

Participants will take away:

  • A packet of primary sources to bring local history to life for your students
  • Resources and contacts to plan your own field trip to these sites
  • Increased content knowledge about the forts around Washington, D.C. and Civil War history
  • A letter certifying two hours of professional development.