National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

In 1998, legislation titled the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998 was passed, creating the Network to Freedom program. Its mission, through collaboration with local, state and federal entities, as well as individuals and organizations, is to honor, preserve and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, which continues to inspire people worldwide. Through its mission, the Network to Freedom helps to advance the idea that all human beings embrace the right to self-determination and freedom from oppression.

The program is a catalyst for innovation, partnerships, and scholarship that connects and shares the diverse legacy of the Underground Railroad across boundaries and generations. The program consists of sites, locations with a verifiable connection to the Underground Railroad; programs, with educational and interpretive programs that pertain to the Underground Railroad; and facilities, either research, educational or interpretive centers. There are currently over 695 locations part of the network in 39 states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

We are currently in the process of transitioning information from our former Network to Freedom website. We thank you for your patience. If you have a question or concern, please email

The banner image is a painting titled, "The Underground Railroad," by the artist, Charles T. Webber. The painting was made in 1893 in the United States.

A woman sits in a wooden church pew as light cascades on her face.

Virtual Exhibit: North is Freedom

For a limited time, check out a new virtual exhibit highlighting descendants of freedom seekers. Photograph is protected by copyright law.

Group photo of 8 people from Network to Freedom launch event in 2000.

Our History

Discover the origins of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and its mission.

A woman looks out over the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Want to Apply?

Click here to find our Application and Application Instructions.

An illustration of freedom seekers escaping on the Underground Railroad.

Learn About the Underground Railroad

What is the Underground Railroad? Find out more about one of the most important moments in America's history.

Last updated: September 29, 2021