Travel the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Explore the places where history was made when you travel this Historic Trail.

By Kathy Walsh



Featured Places

Learn about the War of 1812 here where the flag that inspired the National Anthem was sewn.
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum
Be inspired at this important War of 1812 site and birthplace of The National Anthem.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Image Credit: Ken Stanek Photography
This important site on the Star-Spangled Banner Trail was the location of the largest naval engagement in the state's history.
Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum
Image Credit: Annette Cook/Wish You Were Here Photo Contest
War of 1812 Reenactors
War of 1812 Reenactors

This 560-mile land and water route connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to tell the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. The whole trail is nearly 600 miles, so consider planning your trip based on your preferred mode of transportation or by geographic area. Depending on how much time you have, focus on Baltimore, Annapolis, Southern Maryland or the D.C. suburbs, or plan activities in adjacent regions.

Download the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Map today.

Here are additional ideas to help you choose an itinerary:

No trip would be complete without a stop at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to walk the ramparts that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the National Anthem. Arrive at dusk to help fold the flag, then head into the surrounding neighborhoods to enjoy shopping and dining.

Paddle, pedal or picnic at more than 160 locations throughout the Chesapeake Gateways and Watertrails Network.

Embark on an adventure to earn yourself a geocoin along the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail.

Get your National Park Service Passport stamped at more than 10 locations along the trail.

Download a Patuxent Water Trail map and follow the route of Commodore Joshua Barney through King’s Landing Park and Mount Calvert Historical and Archaeological Park. Or visit Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and nearby Calvert Marine Museum in Southern Maryland for history along with great water views.

Walk the same roads that British troops walked, and see the landscapes they saw between Benedict, on the shores of the Patuxent River, and Bladensburg, near Washington, D.C.

Follow the Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway or Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway and visit War of 1812 sites while enjoying great views of the Eastern Shore or upper Chesapeake Bay along the way.  A complete list of Maryland's Scenic Byways, including the Star Spangled Banner and Historic National Road trails, may be found here.

Bike part or all of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail On-Road Bicycling Route, which starts at Fort Washington and winds along the eastern bank of the Potomac River, offering routes ranging from 28 to 52 miles.

Featured Places
Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum
10515 Mackall Rd
St. Leonard, MD 20685
Kings Landing Park
3255 Kings Landing Rd
Huntingtown, MD 20639
14200 Solomons Island Rd
Solomons, MD 20688
Boy in a kayak
4601 Annapolis Rd
Bladensburg, MD 20710
Scenic Byways
Various Routes
Chesapeake City, MD 21915
Scenic Byways
Variouis Routes
Conowingo, MD 21918
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
2400 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
844 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Browse Featured Places

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