Located only two miles from Mount Vernon, the historical home of George Washington, Fort Hunt Park is a local favorite for picnicking and recreation.
This picnic area has transformed tremendously over time, from George Washington's farmland to a Spanish-American War fort to a top secret intelligence camp during World War II. The rich history of this area is still being discovered and shared with the public. You may request a ranger program on the history of the park by calling 703-289-2553.
Fort Hunt is located just minutes from the nation's capital in the lush hills of Northern Virginia. The area is abundant with trees, plants and wildlife, with mild, crisp winters that include the occasional dusting of snow, and hot, humid summers where the wildflower’s greenery paint the backdrop.
The remains of Fort Hunt are also preserved in the park, including several surviving Spanish American War batteries.
Fort Hunt Park has many opportunities for recreation. There are several large fields and three softball diamonds, making it an ideal place for large picnics and family gatherings.
The playground located in Area A is always open to the public, as are the historic batteries. The inner lane of the Loop Road is closed to cars past Area A and can be used as a multi-use trail.
The stretch of the Mount Vernon Trail from Turkey Run Park south to Riverside Park is a great place to see birds along the river. There are several birds of prey that live in the area, including George and Martha, the resident bald eagles near Mount Vernon.
Fort Hunt has six picnic areas available, ranging in capacity from 100-600 people per site. With restrooms, picnic tables, playgrounds, softball fields and plenty of wide open spaces, Fort Hunt is an ideal place for barbecues and celebrations. Area E is always open to the public on a first-come first-serve basis. However, the consumption of alcohol, use of moon bounces or other activities that require a permit are prohibited in Area E.
Fort Hunt is located just minutes from Mount Vernon, the historic site and former plantation of George Washington. The museums, memorials and monuments of Washington, D.C., are also located a short drive from the picnic area.
Know Before You Go
- Picnicking means an excursion or outing in which the participants carry food with them and have a meal in the open air. An additional permit is required for some activities conducted on National Park Service property. These include bringing in rides, inflatables or other such items as well as car shows or any other event outside of the definition of picnicking provided above. For more information on Special Use Permits, call 703-289-2500.
- Picnic area reservations are issued by Recreation.gov. The reservation confirmation email will serve as the permit and is required on the day of the picnic. Failure to adhere to park rules may result in the permit being revoked.
- The permit is valid from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Restrooms at all picnic areas and the playground in Area A will remain open to the public at all times.
- The permit allows alcohol (beer and wine) to be served from 10am to 6pm. Please note that caterers must have an ABC banquet license from the state of Virginia.
- Fort Hunt Park is closed to all visitors at 10:00 pm. Night picnics are not permitted.
- All picnic areas have a maximum capacity; not to be exceeded (Area A: 600, Area B:350. Area C-1:100, Area C-2:120, Area C-3:100, Area D:120)
- Vehicles must remain on the paved loop road, parking lots, and in designated loading zones.
- Objects that penetrate the ground, such as wire sign holders, volleyball poles, or tent stakes are not allowed
- Park water is available for drinking and cooking. Using water for water balloons, dunk tanks, or squirt guns is prohibited.
- A Picnic Permit Chairperson must be designated for your group and this person will apply for the permit and be the primary contact person for the permit and event. The chairperson should review the permit rules before organizing the event.
- Permits are not issued for commercial use operations. This includes collecting fees; selling food, beverages, or merchandise; fund-raising; selling raffle tickets; paying caterers; etc, while on the park grounds.
- The George Washington Memorial Parkway is not responsible for picnics/events canceled due to inclement weather or results thereof
- Before leaving, all fires must be extinguished and all charcoal placed in the ash cans provided.
- Fires are not allowed within Fort Hunt pavilions. Grills should be 10 feet from pavilions. The fireplace in Area A may only be used with a permit.
- Permittees causing damage to the park (beyond what is reasonably inherent in its use) can be held financially liable.
The falsification of information or violation of any rules, regulations or ordinances of the Park Service will result in the denial and/or revocation of the picnic permit, forfeiture of fees and security deposits given and/or the closing of the event. Instructions of the George Washington Memorial Parkway must be obeyed.
8999 Fort Hunt Road