Map Guide Unveils Stories of Maryland’s Underground Railroad

SOURCE: Choose Maryland
Maryland is the first state in the nation to publish a map guide of its sites in National Park Service's Network to Freedom program.
Officials from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Office of Tourism Development, elected leaders and private partners celebrated the release of a new map guide, "The Underground Railroad: Maryland’s Network to Freedom," on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at the Belair Mansion in Bowie.

The map guide showcases a collection of sites, programs and facilities that have witnessed or now interpret the stories of freedom seekers along the Underground Railroad. Most of these places are part of the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom. Maryland is the first state in the nation to publish a map guide of its sites in the program. The Network to Freedom was mandated by Congress in 1998.

"This map guide...resulted from the need to bring the dramatic stories of these freedom seekers to light, and we are very proud to be the first in the nation to do so,” said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. in a prepared statement to the press.“We are also pleased with the joint efforts of the National Park Service, state and local government, and private entities to preserve, interpret and present Maryland’s African-American history and heritage to the traveling public.”

The state also recently released a new booklet called "Maryland’s African-American Heritage Guide," a 32-page publication that serves as an introduction to the Maryland African-American experience from Colonial times up to the present.

Map guides will be distributed by the Maryland Welcome Centers, local tourism visitor centers, and at sites in the collection. Visitors may also call 800-719-5900 or order via

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development reports that, in 2004, more than 21 million people visited Maryland, spending an estimated $10.1 billion and generating about $813 million in State and local taxes. Tourism is estimated to provide more than 115,000 jobs in the state. To learn more about Maryland tourism, go to

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This story was published on March 17, 2006.