Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Star-spangled Banner National Historic Trail triangle-shaped sign featuring an image of Fort McHenry with a U.S. Flag and fireworks overhead


Established: May 8, 2008
Managing Agency: National Park Service

A map of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, including photos of points of interest

Map of the Star-Spangled Banner NHT courtesy NPS.

The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marks important historical sites along the Chesapeake Bay, where battles shook the region for three years during the War of 1812. America’s National Anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, was conceived of by Francis Scott Key during one of these battles at Fort McHenry as he was being held prisoner on a British warship. An annual red, white, and blue buoy drop marks Key’s approximate location in the Bay around the anniversary of the battle.

Southern Terminus: Tangier Island History Museum on Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

Northern Terminus: Historic Elk Landing near the Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware tri-state border.

The trail includes land and water routes in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Notable sites on this trail include Fort McHenry, the White House, and Drum Point Lighthouse.