The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. The trail traces American and British troop movements, introduces visitors to communities affected by the war, and highlights the Chesapeake region’s distinctive landscapes and waterways.
The trail has many points of entry and exploration along the auto route and water route. You can download the free and official National Park Service mobile application for the trail, Chesapeake Explorer, to learn where to find partner sites, visitor centers, and historic places along the trail.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine serves as the trail's premiere visitor and orientation center. Click here to learn about the fort's operating hours.