In celebration of Presidents Day Weekend, I decided to visit a very interesting place last week: George Washington Birthplace National Monument. The monument is located right off the Potomac River on Virginia’s Northern Neck. When you first get to the site you are greeted by a replica of the Washington Monument in Washington DC. Take a right hand turn at the replica and you will find yourself at the park’s visitor center. The visitor center is nothing special with some brochures and a small gift shop in the interior, but the back of the visitor center has a porch where you can enjoy the views of the surrounding water.
|The entrance road to the monument
After leaving the visitor center I walked into the surrounding farmland that is supposed to replicate what life was like here during the age of George Washington. It was quite a cold morning the day I went so there weren’t that many animals out so I made my way through the area quickly. The loop trail next led to a replica of what the house where Washington was built may have looked like along with a marking of where the house actually stood. If you came here to learn about Washington’s life or see some artifacts from his time you will be greatly disappointed (Morristown National Historical Park and Federal Hall National Memorial do a much better job of this).
|Some farmland along the way
That being said, if you continue along the loop trail through the park you will eventually make your way to the marshland and Popes Creek. This area features a hiking bridge and numerous views of the surrounding bay. It’s a beautiful area that instantly makes you realize why someone would pick here to build a family. Despite the cold I saw numerous species of bird (the only one I was able to recognize though was tundra swan) and really enjoyed the walk.
|A walking bridge over Popes Creek
Ultimately, I spent only about an hour at George Washington Birthplace National Monument. It’s light on history but the views are worth it.