You might think as you start to stroll the treed grounds at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria that this is just another nice place to stretch your legs or have a picnic. However as you start to explore you discover the parks history. Fort Ward was a Union fort used during the civil war to help protect the DC area.
Strolling the grounds you come across the raised ground where the cannons took aim on Confederate troops. You will also see the entrance to the bunkers which helped shelter the 500 troops stationed at the Fort from 1861-1865. The preserved fort is one of the best examples of a civil war fort in Northern Virginia with almost 90% of the original earthen walls still intact.
The Fort Ward Museum at the entrance to the park houses civil war artifacts including uniforms, weapons and photographs. The entrance gate to Fort Ward is also prominent. You can't get to the cannons without walking off the beaten path but it's okay to walk on the grass. It is then you realize that the fort itself was raised so the cannons could site the surrounding area and see the large trench where the earth was dug out.
Fort Ward is located just a few miles off of I-395 on Braddock Road. In addition to the civil war museum the park has a playground, picnic tables and a dog exercise area. It is an easy stroll around the perimeter of the park and there are restrooms near the museum.
See you next week as we stroll the Northern Virginia area checking out interesting historic sites, parks and things you might miss on your everyday travels through the area.
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