Come on a journey to remember and commemorate the dramatic chain of events, people and places that led to the birth of our National Anthem.

Launched in Spring 2010, the new Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail is a unique, interactive journey through American history and across the landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay.

Participants can explore more than 30 forts, museums, battlefields, ships, parks and preserves, each with its own story to tell about the War of 1812.

Intended to complement and promote the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, the Geotrail commemorates the dramatic chain of events, people and places that led to the birth of our National Anthem during the War of 1812. This first-of-its-kind, multi-state initiative is supported by Friends of Chesapeake Gateways (now the Chesapeake Conservancy), the Maryland Geocaching Society, and the National Park Service.

Geocaching, pronounced “geo-cashing,” is a worldwide phenomenon in which participants use a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) or smartphone to locate a hidden “cache.” Searching for a cache is akin to going on a treasure hunt and can involve clues, riddles and visits to multiple locations.

A “geotrail” is a series of caches tied together by a common topic or theme. The Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail includes more than thirty diverse sites that are all part of the landscape of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake region. Some hold national prominence, others reflect the all-encompassing nature of the struggle during which the British raided and burned communities in Maryland, Virginia and even our nation’s capital. In addition, the majority of participating locations are also designated Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails, special places that share the story of the bay and its rivers.


New to Geocaching?

To participate in the adventure, a geocacher must access the official geocache website at A basic membership is free.

Once an account is established, you can start playing by retrieving the map coordinates for each Star-Spangled Banner Geocache! The Star-Spangled Banner account maintains an officially-recognized geotour comprised of 24 sites as well as the full trail, which includes extra sites. You can also find us on by using the advance search function to locate the Star-Spangled Banner account. When searching, type in “Star-Spangled Banner” under “By Username (Hidden)” in the advance search function. The next step is to head outside with a GPS or smartphone to find geocaches along the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail!

Find more information about geocaching here, explore the Maryland geocaching community with the Maryland Geocaching Society, and check out other local geotours like Find Your Chesapeake and the Captain John Smith Trail.



For questions about the Geotrail, contact us at