The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Trail Stewards is an education program for the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (Trail). The 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 people and historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the U.S. national anthem.

Congress established the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in 2008. The trail is one of 19 national historic trails administered by the National Park Service and one of 30 trails in the National Trails System.


The Trail Stewards Program

The goal of the Trail Stewards program is to empower local communities to become the caretakers of the Trail—anyone can be involved!

Being steward along this multi-state trail can mean many things, from participating in a clean-up of a local historic park or stream, to creating audio or video tours of your neighborhood’s Star-Spangled history for others to use to explore long-ago events. School groups especially have a pivotal role to play in this effort. School projects in which students’ research, retell and interpret the historical events in their community are at the heart of the Trail Stewards experience.

The program involves professional development and classroom resources for educators, on-water experience for students, and assistance in developing a community-based service learning project by the participating class.