The Washington DC Black History NRT was originally created as an Eagle Scout project. The trail uses city streets and is maintained by the District of Columbia City Government and the National Park Service. The trail stretches from Southeast to Northwest going through every major neighborhood in the city. The trail is used as a tourist vehicle to get tourists of the Mall and in to the District of Columbia. It is the first trail to highlight the achievements of African-Americans to American history and is the only African-American theme trail recognized by the federal government.
For a free brochure, write Washington, DC Black History Recreation Trail, National Park Service, National Capitol Region, Office of Public Affairs, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242 or call (202) 619-7222.
184.5 Miles of Adventure!
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in the District of Columbia and the states of Maryland and West Virginia. The park was established as a National Monument in 1961 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in order to preserve the neglected remains of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal along the Potomac River along with many of the original canal structures. The canal and towpath trail extends from Georgetown, Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland, a distance of 184.5 miles (296.9 km), and was designated as the first section of U.S. Bicycle Route 50 on October 23, 2013.
Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural and recreational treasures!
The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is located at 1411 W St., SE in Anacostia, a neighborhood east of the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, D.C.. Established in 1988 as a National Historic Site, the site preserves the home and estate of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African Americans of the 19th century. Douglass lived in this house, which he named Cedar Hill, from 1877 until his death in 1895. Perched high on a hilltop, the site also offers a sweeping view of the U.S. Capitol and the Washington D.C. skyline.
The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is located about a ten-minute walk from the Anacostia Metro station, though walking from the station is often discouraged by National Mall information workers and tourist guide books, who recommend taking a taxi due to high crime in Southeast D.C.
The site of the Frederick Douglass home was originally purchased by John Van Hook c. 1855. Van Hook built the main portion of the present house soon after taking possession of the property. For a portion of 1877 the house was owned by the Freedom Savings and Trust Company. Later that year Douglass purchased it and eventually expanded its 14 rooms to 21, including two-story library and kitchen wings. The house has an "L" shape and its plan is reminiscent of the design of Andrew Jackson Downing.
After Douglass' death, his widow, Helen, founded the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association in 1900. In 1916, the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs joined with the association. These groups owned the house until 1962, when the federal government took the deed to the house through the National Park Service, with the intent of restoring and preserving it.
Also on site are an interpretive visitor center and Douglass's "Growlery", a small stone building in which he secluded himself while writing and studying.
Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. Situated on 800 acres along the banks of the Potomac River in northern Fairfax County, the park is a disconnected but integral part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Great Falls of the Potomac River are near the northern boundary of the park, as are the remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States that used locks to raise and lower boats.
At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nation's Capital.