The National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for planning, developing and maintaining the Trail in partnership with other Federal, state and local governments, landowners, volunteer groups, and residents.
According to the National Trails System Act, the NPS is responsible for:
- Encouraging communities, land owners, and volunteers to participate in planning, development and maintenance of the Trail
- Consulting with landowners and federal, state and local agencies in administration of the Trail
- Subject to funding, providing interpretive programs and service and technical assistance to carry out preservation and development of the Trail and to provide education relating to the War of 1812.
The NPS receives funding from Congress to staff the Trail, develop and implement the management plan, and work with partners to manage the Trail. Partners provide matching funding to carry out plan priorities and develop interpretive programs, conserve land, and encourage and undertake research and other priorities.
The trail's comprehensive management plan outlines a twenty-year vision for developing and sustaining the trail through partnerships with federal, state and local governments, non-profits, and the private sector.
The Chesapeake Bay Office in Annapolis administers the Trail in close coordination with Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.