Explore Maryland’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Visitors enjoy interactive and immersive exhibits at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center.

Places along the way

C&O Canal Towpath
13 Canal St
Cumberland, MD 21502

C&O Canal Cumberland National Historical Park-Cumberland Visitor Center
13 Canal St, Room 100
Cumberland, MD 21502

C&O Canal National Historical Park Hancock Visitor Center
439 East Main St
Hancock, MD 21750

C&O Canal National Historical Park-Cushwa Basin Visitor Center
205 W. Potomac St
Williamsport, MD 21795

Catoctin Furnace
Cunningham Falls State Park
Thurmont, MD 21788

Best Farm L'Hermitage
4801 Urbana Pike
Frederick, MD 21704

C&O Canal National Historical Park-Brunswick Visitor Center
40 W Potomac St
Brunswick, MD 21716

Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation
29 Courthouse Sq
Rockville, MD 20850

C&O Canal National Historical Park-Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center
11710 MacArthur Blvd
Potomac, MD 20854

Josiah Henson Park
11420 Old Georgetown Rd
Rockville, MD 20852

Arrest Site of William Chaplin
Jesup Blair Park
Silver Spring, MD 20902

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
16501 Norwood Rd
Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Riversdale House Museum
4811 Riverdale Rd
Riverdale Park, MD 20737

Northampton Plantation and Slave Quarters
10915 Water Port Court
Bowie, MD 20721

Marietta House Museum
5626 Bell Station Rd
Glenn Dale, MD 20769

Belair Mansion
12207 Tulip Grove Dr
Bowie, MD 20715

Darnall's Chance House Museum
14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Mount Calvert Historical & Archaeological Park
16801 Mount Calvert Rd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Howard County Historical Society Museum of Howard County History
8328 Court Ave
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Howard County Jail
1 Emory St
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Frederick Douglass Freedom and Heritage Trail and Tour
P.O. Box 3014
Baltimore, MD 21229

Mount Clare Museum House
1500 Washington Blvd., Carroll Park
Baltimore, MD 21230

President Street Station
601 S President St
Baltimore, MD 21202

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture
830 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202

Hampton National Historic Site
535 Hampton Ln
Towson, MD 21286

Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Blvd
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland State House
100 State Cir
Annapolis, MD 21401

Fort Washington Park
13551 Fort Washington Rd
Fort Washington, MD 20744

Port Tobacco Courthouse (1819)
Off Rt 6 on Chapel Point Rd
Port Tobacco, MD 20677

Camp Stanton
Prince Frederick Road
Hughesville, MD 20637

Old Jail Museum and Tourist Information Center
41625 Courthouse Dr
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Sotterley Plantation
44300 Sotterley Ln
Hollywood, MD 20636

Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum
10515 Mackall Rd
St. Leonard, MD 20685

Point Lookout State Park
11175 Point Lookout Rd
Scotland, MD 20687

Henry Highland Garnet Escape Site
MD 291, west of MD 290
Chestertown, MD 21620

A Journey Begins: Nature's Role in the Flight to Freedom, an Audio Tour
12610 Eveland Rd
Ridgely, MD 21660

Denton Steamboat Wharf
10219 River Landing Rd
Denton, MD 21629

Caroline County Courthouse and Jail
Courthouse Square 109 Market St
Denton, MD 21629

Richard Potter Home Site
9 N. 4th St
Denton, MD 21629

Joseph Cornish Escape from Gilpin's Point
Holly Park Drive
Preston, MD 21655

Frederick Douglass Driving Tour of Talbot County
11 S. Harrison St.
Easton, MD 21601

Poplar Neck Plantation at Marsh Creek
Northwest side of Marsh Creek Bridge, Poplar Neck Rd
Preston, MD 21655

Jacob and Hannah Leverton House
3531 Seaman Road
Preston, MD 21655

Faith Community United Methodist Church
509 Railroad Ave
East New Market, MD 21631

Choptank River Lighthouse
100 High St
Cambridge, MD 21613

Dorchester County Courthouse
206 High St
Cambridge, MD 21613

Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center
424 Race St
Cambridge, MD 21613

The Visitor Center at Sailwinds Park
2 Rose Hill Pl
Cambridge, MD 21613

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and State Park
4068 Golden Hill Rd
Church Creek, MD 21622

Blackwater Adventures
2524 Key Wallace Dr
Cambridge, MD 21613

Hidden in Maryland’s landscapes are the stories of hundreds of freedom seekers who risked their lives to escape slavery. Full of courage and inspiration, more people successfully fled from bondage in Maryland than from any other state. Their heroic stories are plentiful and riveting and are told through the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom sites - authentic places where their drama unfolded - and through programs and tours that share freedom seekers’ struggles and triumphs. Here you can discover the real Underground Railroad and find out why Maryland is the most powerful Underground Railroad story-telling destination in the world.

Explore Underground Railroad sites in all of Maryland’s regions to become familiar with personal stories of escape from this tumultuous era in our nation’s history. Download Maryland's Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Guide (PDF) to get started on your journey.

Maryland’s Network to Freedom includes safe houses of sympathetic African Americans and whites who risked their lives to help self-liberators reach freedom, and it also includes other unique places they stopped and stayed, the routes they took and places they hid, like shipyards, waterways, woods and fields.  Some enslaved people fled to join the ranks of the Union Army where the Civil War was being fought. Learn how so many people escaped slavery from Maryland.

However, not everyone was successful. To commemorate the full Underground Railroad story, the Network to Freedom includes places that epitomized opposition to freedom, such as farms and plantations where freedom seekers fled their enslavement. It also includes the sites of captures, arrests, trials and jails where freedom seekers and their accomplices lost their struggles for freedom.

Tours of Hampton Mansion include descriptions of the roles enslaved people had at the plantation and stories of escapes.

Maryland’s Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore was the birthing ground of several famous and lesser-known Underground Railroad leaders, such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Henry Highland Garnet. Numerous successful escapes originated from the rural Eastern Shore, often using waterways to travel, and yet some freedom seekers were met with the tragedy of capture and return to slavery. The Shore is home to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, a crown jewel in the Network to Freedom collection.  Driving tours, walking tours and historic sites delve into these stories.

Experience the Eastern Shore’s Network to Freedom.

Central Maryland

Baltimore’s busy city streets and the waterfront docks in Fells Point were the backdrop for a large free black population that worked and intermingled with the enslaved. Here was the perfect place for freedom seekers to blend in, hide or work alongside other African-Americans. In Baltimore and in Annapolis, black sailors called blackjacks could hide freedom seekers in cargo or carry messages to family members in distant ports. Museums and historic sites explore the stories of freedom seekers who escaped from cities, docks, nearby farms and plantations.

Experience Central Maryland's Network to Freedom.

Southern Maryland

The rolling countryside of Southern Maryland is known for its former tobacco plantations where a large enslaved population labored to support the lavish lifestyle of their owners. Yet some were able to escape oppression. A few fled slavery to join the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. The Southern Maryland peninsulas are surrounded by water, and access to the Chesapeake and its rivers enhanced opportunities for escape. But the risk of capture was great, and some fugitives were caught. Tour former plantations and historic sites that tell these stories.

Experience Southern Maryland's Network to Freedom.

Capital and Western Regions

The area near our nation’s capital holds the roots of Josiah Henson's life, whose memoir inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write her abolitionist novel, "Uncle Tom’s Cabin."  In the rural areas surrounding the capital, numerous enslaved people escaped from wealthy landowners. Some blended into the free black communities living in Washington, D.C. Others fled on foot. Thrilling escape attempts and sometimes captures ensued. Parks, house museums, and walking tours illustrate experiences on the Underground Railroad.

Experience the Capital and Western Regions' Network to Freedom.  

Related Links

Maryland: The Most Powerful Underground Railroad Storytelling Destination in the World
Maryland’s Freedom Fighters
Escaping Slavery on Maryland’s Underground Railroad
Maryland Network to Freedom Sites, Programs, Tours, and Research Facilities
Maryland's Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Guide: PDF, Mail Order

Tours at Sotterley Plantation include the interior of this rare slave cabin.

Maryland Lore

Escaping slavery from Maryland had advantages. Many freedom seekers escaped via water aboard ships on the Chesapeake Bay bound for ports in the North.

Guided and self-guided tours on the Underground Railroad Experience in Maryland describe the ways freedom seekers eluded capture and survived on their journeys.

Trails in this Region

Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Lower Eastern Shore
Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail: Greater Baltimore Area