Not sure where to start your visit along the Star-Spangled Banner Trail? Here are the five family activities, outdoor adventures, water views, patriotic places, and historic towns to get you started.
Visit the Finding the Trail page to learn more about Star-Spangled Banner Trail guides, maps, and visitor centers to help orient you during your visit.
Fun for Families
The following five places regularly feature activities and events for kids of all ages. Check their websites or call before you go to find out more about special events.
Explore the natural and cultural ecosystems of the Chesapeake region by bike, by boat, or on foot. Explore a great online resource for trails of all types in Maryland.
Pedal one of more than seven War of 1812-themed bike tours. For a map of all bicycling routes along the Potomac River between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the river’s mouth at the Chesapeake Bay, download a Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Map.
Boat the Patuxent River Water Trail or Sassafras River Water Trail. Don’t have a boat? Patuxent River Park and Bladensburg Waterfront Park (on the Anacostia River) offer free pontoon boat tours and canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals.
Go geocaching along the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail.
Hike, bike, picnic, fish, or birdwatch in one of many Maryland and Virginia's many waterfront parks, many of which provide Star-Spangled Banner Trail interpretation and programming. Enjoy spectacular bird-watching at North Point State Park, or paddle the marshes at Mason Neck State Park.
Many waterfront towns along the trail are perfect for strolling around and discovering a bit of Star-Spangled Banner history.
Love looking out on the water? Here are five places that offer peaceful, sweeping water views:
Does listening to The Star-Spangled Banner give you chills? Visit five places that honor the nation’s history and struggles.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Call ahead for special events, or arrive at dusk to help fold the flag.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The original flag flown over Fort McHenry is displayed here in a permanent exhibit, and the museum offers interactive programs about the flag for kids and adults.
Battle of Caulk's Field site. Visit the Eastern Shore to see Maryland’s best-preserved War of 1812 battlefield.
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum.View archeological objects recovered by the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, walk through a recreated American Indian village, or check out exhibits on the history of agriculture in Southern Maryland.
US Capitol Visitor Center. Visit the Nation’s Capital to learn about the history of the capitol building, how the country’s founders created a democratic form of government, and how Congress works today.