Star‐Spangled Banner National Historic Trail explores regional stories, resources and visitor experiences through series of regional workshops
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

Annapolis, MD (01/08/10) - The National Park Service, in coordination with local hosts in eight regions around the Chesapeake Bay, sponsored a series of workshops in November and December on the stories, resources and visitor experiences the Star‐Spangled Banner National Historic Trail should include. Over 120 participants from state and local governments, non‐profits and businesses participated. The information from these workshops will inform the development of Trail themes and prioritize the range of possible visitor experiences for people as they explore and recreate along the Trail.

The Star‐Spangled Banner National Historic Trail commemorates the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812 and the writing of our National Anthem. The route follows the movements and activities of the British and Americans over 290 miles of land and water in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, including the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac, Patapsco, Patuxent and Anacostia Rivers. Designated by Congress and signed into law in May 2008 (PL 110‐229) through an amendment to the National Trails System Act, the Trail will foster interpretation of the significant places, people and events of this little‐known chapter in American history through resource preservation of significant sites and landscapes and enhanced recreational opportunities along this multi‐modal trail. The Star‐Spangled Banner Trail is one of 19 National Historic Trails nationwide. Other trails include the Lewis and Clark NHT and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT.

The Trail was envisioned to support the commemoration, interpretation and promotion of sites around the Chesapeake Bay during the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, from 2012‐2015, and to provide a legacy for these activities through ongoing public‐private cooperative management to extend interpretation, resource preservation, and recreation opportunities related to the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake.

The State of Maryland is an invested partner in the upcoming Bicentennial. Governor Martin O’Malley, who is also a War of 1812 re‐enactor, has established a Bicentennial Commission to raise funding for and guide infrastructure investments, events, interpretation and education, and product development. Priorities were identified through extensive engagement in 2008 with regional stakeholders, leading to a Strategic Plan, available at

Currently, the state is conducting a series of six one‐day symposia to familiarize local and non‐local participants with each region’s War of 1812 places and stories. The State was recently awarded $1.8 million to develop plans and products related to establishing National Scenic Byway status for the Star‐Spangled Banner Scenic Byway, which currently extends from Southern Maryland to Baltimore City. The Byway follows closely the proposed land and water routes of the National Historic Trail.

National Park Service and Maryland will jointly prepare plans to describe and guide management of the Byway and the National Historic Trail. The National Park Service anticipates initiating management planning in winter 2009. This 18‐month planning process will culminate in a management plan for use by the NPS and local, regional and state partners to implement together to foster resource preservation, provide interpretation, and extend recreation opportunities along this multi‐modal national trail.

For more information on the National Historic Trail and Trail interpretive planning, visit, or contact the Star‐Spangled Banner NHT project manager at, 410‐260‐2476.

For more information contact: Suzanne Copping

Electronic version: Portable Document file (.pdf) - 94.3 kb

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