6 Incredible Places Around North Carolina That Were Once Part Of The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad sites in North Carolina are just a small part of the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom. This historic nationwide network contains more than 690 locations with verifiable connections to the Underground Railroad. A way to form a personal connection and learn the story of the Underground Railroad in America is by visiting these extraordinary places.
1. Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center, South Mills
Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, 2356 Hwy 17, South Mills, NC 27976, USA
This vast space of about one million acres spans southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina where the swamp and canal served as a refuge and route to freedom for thousands of runaway enslaved African Americans.
2. Roanoke Canal Trail and Museum, Roanoke Rapids
The museum displays lots of the area's
, including The Roanoke Navigation Company and its ownership of slaves during the construction of the canal.
Right outside the door is the trail, and because of its level towpath and location near the Great Dismal Swamp and the Roanoke River, this 7.8-mile trail proved an effective escape route for freedom seekers.
Roanoke Canal Trail, Roanoke Rapids, NC, USA
3. Halifax State Historic Site, Halifax
Among other historic reasons to visit, the Underground Railroad Trail offers
which lead to what was once a busy riverport popular for freedom seekers.
On special occasions, Jackie Ruffin Pittman authentically portrays Piety, a local freedom seeker who was active in the area.
Halifax State Historic Site, 25 St David St, Halifax, NC 27839, USA
4. New Garden Woods, Guilford College Campus, Greensboro
Guilford College, 5800 W Friendly Ave, Greensboro, NC 27410, USA
This tree was present and served as a "silent witness" during the time of the Underground Railroad on the approximately 200 acres considered sacred space.
5. Colonial Waterfront Park, Edenton
Colonial Waterfront Park, 510 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA
In many coastal areas like this one, the North Carolina waterfront served as a departure point for the Maritime Underground Railroad. This example is Harriet Jacob's account of her 1842 escape from Edenton by ship.
6. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, 1401 National Park Dr, Manteo, NC 27954, USA
The many interesting reasons to visit this
include in 1862 when Union forces took control of the Outer Banks with the battle of Roanoke Island, using the seized land to provide protection and freedom for runaways.
Roanoke Island's reputation grew as a place of refuge for those who sought protection of the Union Army.
Although some freedom seekers continued northward, many refugees remained on the island where a camp for runaways, Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island was established.
Discover more about the Underground Railroad sites in North Carolina on the
International Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Tour’s website. The tour offers digital National Park Service Passport Stamps.
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