Fort Washington


The first Fort Washington was completed in 1809 and guarded the Nation’s Capital until it was destroyed by its own garrison in 1814. Twelve days later Major Pierre L’Enfant was sent to construct new defenses but worked on the fort for only a brief period before Lieutenant Colonel Walker K. Armistead replaced him.  Fort Washington was the only defense for the Nation’s Capital until the Civil War when a circle of temporary forts was built around the city.  source

10 Royal Navy warships shelled the fort. The Captain Dyson, retreated with his small garrison of men and blew up the magazine, destroying the fort. Dyson received a court martial for his actions.  After the war, Fort Washington was restored at the request of President Monroe.   This park is one of my favorite picnic spots.  There is a shoreline by the small lighthouse.  There are tables sprinkled throughout the park to have your own personal space.  There is a 3-mile trail that follows the perimeter of the park.

Visitor Center and Historic Fort
The Visitor Center and Historic Fort are open daily 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
The park grounds are open 8:00-sunset at all times.
Closed January 1, Thanksgiving, and December 25
13551 Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744

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