Fort Necessity


The reconstructed stockade at Fort Necessity marks one of the great milestones of colonial days where the young George Washington fought and lost his first battle and the French and Indian War began in 1754. A modern Visitor Center tells the story of the opening round in the successful struggle for British domination west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Allow one to two hours for your visit. The ten-minute slide presentation at the visitor center is a good introduction to the park story.

Colonial troops commanded by Colonel George Washington, then 22 years old, were defeated here in the opening battle of the French and Indian War on July 3, 1754. This followed a skirmish a little over a month earlier and several miles from the site of the fort where a troop led by Washington attacked a small French force led by an Ensign Jumonville who was mortally wounded. These battles sparked a seven year struggle between Great Britain and France for control of North America and helped pave the way for the American Revolution.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located about 11 miles east of Uniontown. The park comprises approximately 900 acres in three separate sites. The main unit contains the visitor center, the reconstructed Fort Necessity and the Mount Washington Tavern. The Braddock Grave unit is approximately 1.5 miles west of the main unit and the Jumonville Glen unit is approximately seven miles northwest of the main unit.

Visitor Center and Exhibits
The visitor center includes a small exhibit area where artifacts recovered in archaeological digging at the fort are displayed; exhibits telling the story of Fort Necessity; an auditorium (can accommodate about 20 adults or 30 children) where a ten-minute slide presentation is shown; a book sales area containing publications and items relating to the park; and restrooms which are handicapped accessible.

The Mount Washington Tavern is a restored stagecoach stop from the time of the National Road (1828-1855). The tavern is furnished to show how it may have appeared during its heyday. There are exhibits telling the story of the National Road and tavern lifestyles during the 19th century. Restrooms are available in the Tavern basement but are not handicapped accessible. A paved path up a steep hill behind the visitor center leads to the tavern. A paved parking lot is available at the Tavern for those who do not wish to walk up the hill.

The reconstructed Fort Necessity is a short distance from the visitor center. A paved path which is wheelchair accessible leads to the fort. A three-minute audio message at the fort gives a brief history of the events leading up to the battle. The fort is an accurate reconstruction, based upon archaeology conducted in 1953.

The Braddock Grave Unit is approximately 1.5 miles west of Fort Necessity on US Route 40. The monument at the site marks the final resting place of British General Edward Braddock. Interpretive markers explain the ill-fated Braddock Campaign of 1755. A trace of the Braddock Road is clearly visible at this site. Jumonville Glen is the site of Washington's first encounter with the French. The Glen is approximately seven miles northwest of Fort Necessity. A natural rock outcropping marks the site of the skirmish. A monument and interpretive signs help visitors understand the event. The site is open mid-April through October.

Trails and Roads
Approximately five miles of hiking trails are at the main unit of Fort Necessity, and are based on a set of interconnecting loops. The trails cover a variety of terrain covering both forest and meadow environments. In winter cross-country skiing is available on the trails, although they are not mechanically tracked or groomed.

From mid-June through Labor Day, a variety of talks, tours, and demonstrations are available at the fort, visitor center, and Mount Washington Tavern. A complete schedule of daily activities is available at the visitor center.

Sales Outlet: Eastern National Park and Monument Association maintains a sales outlet in the visitor center which offers publications and items relating to the park's themes.

The visitor center, Fort reconstruction, picnic area, and the first floor of the Mount Washington Tavern are all handicapped accessible.








Fort Necessity National Battlefield
One Washington Parkway
Farmington, PA 15437

724-329-5512 Click for TTY Information

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

OPERATING HOURS: Daily, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., all year;
closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.


Directions From the Inne at watsons Choice
Head east on Balsinger Rd/Old State Rte 21 toward S&T Dr
Continue to follow Balsinger Rd 0.6 mi Turn left onto PA-21 E 2.1 mi
Turn right to merge onto US-119 S/US-40 E 2.3 mi
Use the left 2 lanes to take the US-40 E exit toward Hopwood 0.4 mi Continue onto US-40 E
Destination will be on the left

Google Map

  While you're in the area, you might check out these attractions.

Braddock's Grave
Washington's Tavern
Jummonville Glen
The Cross at Jumonville
Country Charm
Nemacolin Woodlands
Christian W. Klay Winery
Kentuck Knob
Ohiopyle State Park
Addison Tollhouse
Wharton Furnace
Touchstone Center for the Arts
Laurel Caverns
The National Road



Related Links

Early Local History
George Washington Slept Here
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
French and Indian War Magazine



234 Balsinger Road
Village of Balsinger
Uniontown, Pa 15401

Bill and Nancy Ross
Inn Keepers



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