America's Scenic Byways

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

125 miles - Take a day or two to explore the byway.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad byway traverses a living land-and-waterscape, and commemorates Harriet Tubman and everyone – black and white, enslaved and free – involved in the Underground Railroad. Not a railroad in the true sense, the Underground Railroad was the name given to the secret network of roads, waterways, trails, and hiding places, used before the Civil War by enslaved people fleeing from bondage.

Threading together some of the most pristine and well-preserved working landscapes found along the East Coast, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad captures the same culture of family farming and life on the Chesapeake that Tubman grew up in. To explore the byway landscapes is to walk in Tubman’s footsteps as she grew from infant to woman, enslaved to free, ordinary to extraordinary.

You’ll find amenities all along the byway, but it's best to plan ahead. Welcoming towns and hamlets reflect the vernacular architecture of the Chesapeake Bay in the 1850s. In addition to driving the byway, find ample opportunities to hike, bike, paddle, shop, dine, and attend events relating to the area’s significant and unique heritage.