How about a walk in the woods with the father of our country? You can do just that on Saturday morning, Nov 27 — enjoy fresh air and great scenery while commemorating George Washington’s travels through Butler County in 1753.

The hike, sponsored by the Old Stone House, Historic Harmony’s Harmony Museum,  and Washington’s Trail 1753, starts and ends at the Old Stone House.

Back in November 1753, Washington was a 21-year-old volunteer newly commissioned a major by Virginia Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie. He traveled through Pennsylvania Indian country carrying Dinwiddie’s ultimatum demanding withdrawal of the French then building forts on land claimed by England and the Virginia Colony. The French response: the British should stay out of from New France. That ultimatum delivered by Washington, and the military intelligence he obtained during his mission, were instrumental in starting the French and Indian War in southwest Pennsylvania the following spring and summer of 1754.

Along with the 45 minute hike, this year’s commemoration includes refreshments, touring the  Old Stone House, and a chance to discuss the mission with the young Washington and his frontiersman guide Christopher Gist — re-enactors Brian Cunning of Washington, Pa. and Rich Baker of Claysville, Pa. The Old Stone House opens at 9:30 a.m., with guided hikes planned for 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. Leading each hike will be a Slippery Rock University history student who will read from the journals of Washington and Gist and explain the significance of Washington’s sometimes hazardous journey.

To reserve a hiking slot, call Jake Miller at the Old Stone House, 724-738-4964. Admission is $5 per person, $12 per family. Each hiking group will be limited in size, so event organizers recommend strongly that participants reserve their start times. The hike will cover about a mile of rocky terrain that is close by the original Venango Path followed in part by Washington. Hikers are advised to wear appropriate footwear as well as clothing suitable for the day’s weather conditions.