About the Map
The Underground Railroad refers to the effort of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage.
Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape, at first to maroon communities in remote or rugged terrain on the edge of settled areas. Their acts of self-emancipation made them "fugitives" according to the laws of the times, though in retrospect "freedom seeker" seems a more accurate description. While most freedom seekers began their journey unaided and many completed their self-emancipation without assistance, each decade in which slavery was legal in the United States saw an increase in active efforts to assist escape.
This map contains sites, interpretive programs, and research facilities that are included in the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Not all of the sites are open to the public.