Explore Maryland’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

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.