Last Updated on July 27, 2021
Last Updated on July 27, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro commemorates a crucial battle during the Revolutionary War. Beyond the history, though, this FREE National Park site offers a wonderful collection of trails that you can walk, bike, or even drive your car through.
It’s a history lover’s paradise. But with so many trails and paths to explore, it’s also a nature lover’s dream. We’ll take you through why Guilford Courthouse appeals to a wide variety of audiences in this guide that covers all the things we love about it!
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park (10 Things We Love!)
1. Free to Enter
Address: 2332 New Garden Road
One of the best things about Guilford Courthouse is that the parking is free and the park is free to enter. As long as it’s open, you can simply park and enjoy it!
2. Open 7 Days a Week (Excluding 3 Holidays)
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is open 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Its gates are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. On the rest of the days of the year, though, come enjoy everything this park has to offer!
If there is inclement weather or any other unforeseeable circumstances, the park’s amenities will close, too.
3. History Lesson Not Required
For people who love history, Guilford Courthouse is paradise. For people who don’t care or who hate history (no judgment!), it’s still a great place to visit.
This is largely thanks to the scenic trails scattered throughout the park. Whether you’re seeking a solo walk in nature or need to get your kids out and run around, Guilford Courthouse has you covered.
Note that because this is a protected battlefield, picnicking on the lawns, recreational activities, and skateboarding or rollerblading are prohibited at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.
4. Learn About the Battle of Guilford Courthouse (and Who Won)
Those of us who love history (again, no judgment!) come to learn about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. This was no typical Revolutionary War battle, neither in size or importance.
On March 15, 1781, roughly 4,500 Continental troops and militia commanded by Nathaniel Greene faced nearly 2,000 British soldiers led by Charles Cornwallis. Greene’s men fought Cornwallis to a standstill but withdrew and left the British in control of the field.
Cornwallis had a Pyrrhic victory, losing a quarter of his men. Never in the Carolinas had Patriot forces fought so fiercely.
Cornwallis’s diminished force withdrew to Virginia. Seven months later, entrapped by George Washington’s army and our French allies, Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.
5. Visitor Center
You can begin your Battle of Guilford Courthouse learning experience at the Visitor Center. Even for those eager to get outside, I recommend beginning your visit here.
Before heading outside for the trails, tours, and monuments, stroll around the visitor center’s colorful exhibits, paintings, and films. A ranger or volunteer will be available to offer a map, help with directions, and offer something fun for your kids.
You’ll learn about the battle and see historical artifacts here at the Visitor Center. To put things in a larger context, the exhibits also detail the entire Southern Campaign beyond just Guilford Courthouse.
6. Hop on the Scenic Trails and Tour Road
If you visit on a nice day, then the trails are a must-see. As we mentioned, you can walk, ride, or drive through much of the park.
The most popular trail, known as the Tour Road, loops 2.25 miles around Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. It crosses Old Battleground Rd. While you can drive through without stopping, there are plenty of opportunities to park and learn more about the park’s history.
There are plenty of footpaths for walkers who are seeking a respite from the slow-moving traffic and bicycles. Bikes and cars are not permitted on any of the footpaths and must stay to the right side of the Tour Road.
In case you want to extend your drive through the park, Greensboro’s Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway runs through Old Battleground Rd and Guilford Courthouse.
7. Self-Guided Audio Tour
While passing through the Tour Road, you can listen to a Cell Phone tour that provides details for about 7 stops along the Road. It’ll introduce you to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and describe major events and formations.
8. Monuments Galore
28 monuments commemorate those who fought and commanded at Guilford Courthouse, along with other prominent figures. They include Signers of the Declaration of Independence, notable locals, and those who founded this great park.
Nathaniel Greene’s might be the most impressive monument, but there are plenty scattered around to sway your opinion. The American Cavalry Obelisk is one of many examples.
9. Hoskins Farmstead Site
At 2200 New Garden Rd, a short drive away from the Visitor Center, is Hoskins Farm, another great attraction that’s still part of the park. You can follow a guided Cell Phone tour to learn about the family who lived here.
[SPOILER ALERT] When Joseph and Hannah Hoskins bought the farm in 1778, they thought the coast was clear from the war. After all, they’d fled from Pennsylvania and hoped to stay as far away from the action as possible. However, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse would soon change that.
You can learn about the rest of their story at the farm, which hosted the Battle of Guilford Courthouse just a few years later.
10. Major Events at Guilford Courthouse
During a typical year, Guilford Courthouse hosts a variety of events and programs for visitors. Each March, the anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse is commemorated via reenactments and multiple events over two days.
Holiday events continue throughout much of the year, including Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day.
To stay on top of updates, you can check the Guilford Courthouse events page here.
Ready to Explore Guilford Courthouse National Military Park?
In case you’ve never visited, we think you should definitely add Guilford Courthouse to your NC Bucket List! It’s one of our favorite outdoor activities in Greensboro and one place we always look forward to visiting.
Much of the park is also pet-friendly, as long as your furry friend is leashed. Guilford Courthouse attracts visitors of all interests and backgrounds, not just history lovers. We think this park is all-ages-friendly, and we’re pretty confident you’ll agree with us!
If you’ve visited Guilford Courthouse, we’d love to know about your experiences here. Have you ever attended any of their special events? And if you’ve never been, we hope to hear about your time at this awesome park after your first time!
Let us know in the comments section here or in our Facebook Group!