National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
The hiking trails at Fort Necessity traverse a wide
spectrum of natural and historical settings. We ask
that you follow some simple procedures to help
make your visit safe and enjoyable.
Stop and pay the entrance
fee at the Visitor Center.
The fee is $5.00 per person.
Children 15 and under are
Leave flowers, plants,
salamanders, baby deer,
etc. where you find them.
This is a natural and historical
area, set aside for all to enjoy.
Respect the environment and
leave the area the same for
The Great Meadows was where George Washington
and his troops fought a large French and Indian
force on July 3, 1754, forever immortalizing the
ground. The area near the benches where the Forest
Trail leaves the meadow is believed to be where the
French and Indians used the forest for cover while
directing their most effective fire on Washington's
The trails leaving the fort area wind through mixed
deciduous forest. When Washington and his men
passed through this area, they found the forest in a
virgin state. The trees were large and well spaced
with the absence of undergrowth due to the shade
of the trees.
The Braddock Road Trace is the remnant of the
road built by Washington in 1754 and improved by
General Braddock's army on their way to Fort
Duquesne the next year. This road became one of
the major routes of transportation from the east
before the completion of the National Road to
Wheeling, Virginia in 1818.
In places, the trails pass stands of pines. These were
planted by the men of the Civilian Conservation
Corps camp in the mid 1930's.
As you explore the park, imagine it as seen through
the perspective of a youthful commander on his first
military campaign on the edge of the wilderness.
Fort Necessity Hiking Trail Map
All trails start from the Visitor Center.
Trail distances are marked on the map. Please stay
on the marked trails.
15 minutes – Fort Necessity:
Walk the paved trail from the Visitor Center to Fort
Necessity and return.
30 minutes – Braddock Road/French Camp:
Leave the Great Meadows on the Forest Trail,
turning right into the woods just before the bridge to
the fort. The trail follows Indian Run Creek to the
Braddock Road Trace. Follow the Braddock Road to
the left 200 ft. Turn left again. This trail returns to
the Great Meadows through the French Camp,
making a small loop.
45 minutes – Indian Run Loop:
Continue along the Braddock Road Trace another
650 ft., crossing the paved road and the Forest Trail
turns to the right. In a short distance the Indian Run
Trail bears right and returns to the Braddock Road.
90 minutes – Forest/Meadow Loop:
The Forest Trail continues to the traffic circle at the
top of the hill. TheMeadow Trail continues through
open meadows to your right and passes a peaceful
spot where you can stop and enjoy the surrounding
landscape with Chestnut Ridge to the west. Just
beyond this point, the Meadow Trail splits into the
Outer Meadow Trail and the Inner Meadow Trail.
The Inner Meadow Trail leads to the hill above Fort
Necessity where you can stop to gaze at the setting
before returning to the fort area. The Outer
Meadow Trail passes through open fields along the
park boundary and returns to the fort area.
45 minute meadow hike:
From the fort, follow the Outer Meadow Trail to
your right. Take a cutoff on your left to the Inner
Meadow Trail. Turn left on the Inner Meadow
Trail and return to the fort
Add the Picnic Area Loop to your Forest/Meadow
Loop hike. From the traffic circle, the Picnic Area
Spur goes down over the hill and connects to the
Picnic Area Loop
30 minute woodland hike:
From the picnic area parking, cross the bridge
behind the nearest pavilion and follow the Picnic
Hike along the Braddock Road Spur and visit the
Woodland Zoo. Take the cutoff from the Outer
Loop Trail (near the stand of spruce trees.) This
trail is unimproved. Sturdy shoes are required.
EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA