Encompassing a 500 mile land and water route, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. Its purpose is to protect the sites that help contextualize the War of 1812 and the writing of the National Anthem. It is hoped the trail will help bring the history of the War of 1812 forward and connect it American culture today. Additionally, the trail will provide spaces for land and water based recreation.
In Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, more than 25 visitor centers have Star-Spangled Banner orientation kiosks, with plans for additional locations through 2013. The Star-Spangled National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 2008 and is administered by the National Parks Service. It was made possible through the cooperation of multiple local, state, and federal agencies and regional non-profit partners in the Chesapeake Bay area.
The trail is well served by its accompanying website, starspangledtrail.net . An interactive map helps visitors plan their visit by allowing them to construct maps that include—or don’t— water trails, land trails, information centers, and historic places, parks and monuments. By clicking on specific locations visitors can discover more information and even add it to “My Adventure Planner,” a customizable guide that brings addresses, hours and fees together in to one easily printable screen.