The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a National Historic Trail around Chesapeake Bay that commemorates the War of 1812, both overland and on sea. Sites on the trail include towns raided and/or burned by the British, battles and engagements, museums, and forts.
The trail's main visitor center is at Fort McHenry National Monument in South Baltimore. It is open W–Su 9AM-4:45PM.
Part of the route, through Maryland and Washington, D.C., is over land and can be followed by car, while part is over water and can be followed by boat. Even if you don't do the full water portion of the route, you can spend some time on a canoe or kayak in the Chesapeake Bay.
- See also: Early United States history
The War of 1812 was fought between the United States with its indigenous allies, and the British Empire. Posterity has seen the war as a "second war of independence" as the United States tried to fight off British influence over North America and the Atlantic; though the causes for the war were too complex to describe in brief. Britain was involved in the Napoleonic Wars against France.
The war ended in a draw, with the December 1814 treaty of Ghent, which was ratified by Congress in February 1815.
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You can join the trail from many points in Maryland, Virginia, or D.C.
- 1 Tangier (Virginia)
- 2 Solomons (Maryland) – Sotterley Plantation and Calvert Marine Museum
- 3 Upper Marlboro – Tomb of Dr. William Beanes, who was with Francis Scott Key when Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner; Patuxent River Park; Darnall's Chance House Museum, an 18th-century mansion
- 4 Washington, D.C. – Sewall–Belmont House and Museum, U.S. Capitol, National Archives, National Museum of American History, White House, National Society United States Daughters of 1812 Museum, Decatur House, Octagon House, Francis Scott Key Memorial Park
- Bladensburg (Maryland) – Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Old Dueling Grounds, George Washington House, Magruder House, Market Master's House, Bostwick House
- 5 Baltimore
- 6 Havre de Grace
- Geocaching – the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail includes more than 30 geocaches along the trail