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Historic Sites Group Tours & School Fieldtrips

Montgomery Parks offers a rich historic heritage to explore.

Montgomery Parks explore the county’s rich African American heritage at these historic sites: the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park in Sandy Spring, Josiah Henson Park in North Bethesda, and Oakley Cabin African American Museum in Olney.

Our school fieldtrip program provides an enlightening overview of the African American experience from slavery to freedom for grades 3 and up. Lesson plans are developed in accordance with the Maryland State Curriculum – Social Studies Content Standards.  Students will engage in topics related to enslavement in Montgomery County, Maryland, resistance to slavery – such as self-emancipation, and the impact of the Civil War on the African American community.

We offer guided hikes and tours weekdays, Monday – Friday, weather permitting. Due to winter weather conditions, bookings for outdoor hikes and tours begin in late March and end in November.

Tours and fieldtrip experiences last from 1 to 2.5 hours and are appropriately designed for children in grades 3 and up, as well as adults of all ages. Guided hikes along the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park are usually conducted during rain or shine. However, for your safety, we do not hike during heavy rain or downpours, high winds, stormy or poor trail conditions, so please plan on booking a back-up date.

School Fieldtrips

“World of Young Benjamin Palmer”

Grades 3 – 5
Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Explore life on Woodlawn Plantation as young Benjamin Palmer did during the 1800s. Learn about Quakers, enslaved families, and farming through hands-on activities. Examine reproduction artifacts, meet people from the past, and prepare crops for market. (Benjamin was one of the children of Dr. William & Cleorah Palmer, owners of Woodlawn Plantation during the 1800s.)

Bookings available on Wednesdays. Plan for a 2 – 2.5 hour experience.

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“Searching for Josiah Henson” – Archaeology Fieldtrip

Grades 4 – 8*
Josiah Henson Park
11420 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852

Under the supervision of archaeologists, students will participate in activities that demonstrate the role of archaeologists at an historical site and how the artifacts they excavate aid in interpreting the site for visitors.
Hands-on activities include exploring current archaeological excavations, understanding soil colors and textures, mending pottery, learning about archaeological field and lab work, and mapping a mock excavation unit.

Bookings available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Plan for a 2.5 hour experience.
*(Title I schools in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. are eligible for reduced admission and free transportation.)

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Group Tours

Underground Railroad Experience Trail

at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program, this fascinating outdoor hike will lead your group on a simulated Underground Railroad Experience that will showcase the techniques enslaved freedom seekers used and the hardships they faced on the road to freedom. Please note that this is not a ADA accessible trail.

Suitable for school groups, grades 4th and up.

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Josiah Henson Park

1420 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852

Learn about the slavery experience in Maryland and the story of Reverend Josiah Henson, the subject of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Groups will learn about life on the plantation and the choices enslaved people faced when deciding whether or not to escape to freedom.

Suitable for school groups, grades 4th and up.

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Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park

3610 Brookeville Road, Olney, MD 20832

Experience hands-on living lessons at this 19th century log cabin that was once the center of an African American roadside community. Groups will learn about life during the Reconstruction Era following the end of the Civil War. Please note that the historic cabin is not a ADA accessible building.
Suitable for school groups, grades 1st and up.

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Schedule a Tour

To ensure availability of the time/location you are interested in, we recommend scheduling your trip at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance, however reservations may be accepted up to 2 weeks prior to your requested visitation date. School group coordinators will receive a Teachers Resource Guide upon completion of their group reservation. The Resource Guides include curriculum-based pre- and post-visit activities for each of the three historic sites.

Request a Tour Date

  • Step 1
    Make a tour date request through our online Request a Tour Date or Contact our museum manager directly at HistoryTours@MontgomeryParks.org
    or call 301-650-4373. Tours are available Monday through Fridays. One adult chaperone is required per every 10 students.
  • Step 2
    Once your request has been received and approved, Parks Staff will contact you with the payment information needed to complete your reservation.
  • Step 3
    After your group reservation has been completed, you will receive a final tour confirmation packet that includes: a Teachers Resource Guide (for educators only), driving directions, parking and other pertinent information.

Group Size

Each group must consist of 10 or more people. The maximum group size is 70 people. If your group size exceeds 70 people, please contact the Program Coodinator directly to book your reservation.

Group Rates

Admission fee per person:

  • Students $5 | Adults $7 | Seniors $5
  • One complimentary chaperone ticket is allowed for every 10 student tickets

Chaperones

One chaperone is required for every 10 students participating in a school tour. Chaperones must remain with their group throughout the visit and are responsible for managing all members of their group.

Special Accommodations/Assistance

Contact our Group Tour Coordinator directly to arrange for special accommodations for your school or group.

Lunches

Group participants may bring packed lunches or dine at a nearby restaurant.

  • Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park (the site for the Underground Railroad Experience Trail hikes) can accommodate large groups (40 – 50 people) at outdoor picnic tables.
  • Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park can accommodate small groups (30 or less people) at outdoor picnic tables.
  • Josiah Henson Park can accommodate small groups (30 or less) for lunch outdoors, on site, and several restaurants are located within .5 mile from the park on Rockville Pike or Old Georgetown Road.

Contact Us

Jennifer Legates, Facility Manager
301-563-7515 | Jennifer.Legates@montgomeryparks.org

Mark Thorne, Program Manager
301-563-7505 | Mark.Thorne@montgomeryparks.org

Last Updated: February 6, 2017