Fort C.F. Smith is a beautiful 19-acre site that includes a lush tree canopy, an open meadow, the lovely Victorian Hendry House (so pretty people get married here), preserved earthworks of the Union Army’s Civil War fort built in 1863, and many other outstanding features. The earthwork ruins at this park are the best-preserved ruins of the 22 forts that were located in Arlington during the Civil War. The ruins include the bomb-proof, the fort well, the north magazine, and 11 of the 22 gun emplacements. If that means something to you, then you’ll love our visitor center (check here to be sure the center has reopened due to COVID-19). Read more about the history of Fort C.F. Smith.
There is a half-mile of trail on the site. The trails are of a variety of surfaces including asphalt, mulch, concrete, and gravel. Enjoy a stroll on the grounds while observing wildlife, open space, and historic features as outlined on interpretive signage throughout the grounds. Take a walking tour of Fort C.F. Smith Park.
Deer, fox, rabbit, and squirrel are among the wildlife that may be observed in the park. Barred and Screech Owls are known to frequent the area along with other interesting wildlife who visit the Bird Creek as well. Bird Creek is a man-made feature, created to attract and retain migrating birds and to provide a water source for other wildlife in the park. Visitors can expect to see both resident and migrating birds including Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. Among the wide variety of tree species in the Ornamental Peace Garden are several unique varieties originally planted by the original owner, Dr. Hendry, including Japanese Raisin Tree, Ginko, Bottle-Brush Buckeye, English Walnut and Royal Paulownia. There are native hardwood forest trees and an abundant assortment of plants and flowers.
Wow! This is just a start – only minutes from the Washington monuments, museums, and history. And of course Arlington National Cemetery and Arlington House.