Find Your Chesapeake: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park

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This portrait of Harriet Tubman was taken between 1860 and 1875.

Since February is Black History Month, it’s the perfect time to commemorate it by visiting the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Church Creek. Granted, any time of the year is perfect for a visit.

The national historical park shares the remarkable story of the life of Harriet Tubman and preserves some of the quintessential Chesapeake landscapes through which she led others to freedom. The Underground Railroad hero was born into slavery in Dorchester County some 200 years ago – and in 2022, the State of Maryland and the national historical park proudly celebrated the bicentennial of her birth.

An exhibit at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park Visitor Center depicts Harriet Tubman assisting escapees from a boat. Photograph courtesy of Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program.

Through its exhibits and documentary, the national historical park allows one to thoroughly explore Harriet Tubman’s life – including her forced separation from family members and her near death at the Bucktown Village Store. The exhibits also highlight her work in the nearby marshes and uplands where she honed her navigational skills to escape to freedom and to courageously help free others. The park is located on property owned by Maryland State Parks and is also adjacent to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where a visit provides a glimpse of the difficult terrain the Underground Railroad traversed.

The marshlands of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge showcase the landscape Harriet Tubman labored on as an enslaved child into her adulthood and traversed on her escape from slavery. Photograph courtesy of Beth Parnicza, NPS.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center is open for visitation Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The documentary “Harriet Tubman: Soldier of Freedom” is shown daily – three times an hour – to visitor center guests.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center serves as a gateway to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a self-guided road trip through which you can continue your journey of discovery.

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