Underground Railroad Experience Trail Hikes

The Underground Railroad Experience Trail hike commemorates the involvement of Montgomery County residents in the Underground Railroad and celebrates the Quaker heritage and traditions of Sandy Spring, MD. This trail is also part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program.

Guided Hikes

Please join us each Saturday for a guided hike on our Underground Railroad Experience Trail. Guided hikes last 2.5 hours and are led by talented volunteer “conductors” who lead groups on a simulated Underground Railroad experience covering 2.0 miles from Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park along a wooded, natural surface trail to the historic Sandy Spring, then back to the park. Hikers will learn about various techniques that freedom seekers used to elude trackers, find food, and navigate their way North to freedom.

Guided hikes are available during the week by request for groups of 10 or more. Request your hike online through our Group Tours & School Fieldtrips Program or call 301-929-5989.

2016 Schedule and Times

  • September 3 – November 20 | Guided Hike begins Saturday mornings at 10:00 am

What to know before a guided hike…

  • Register online at ActiveMontgomery.org – search for “UGRR” or “Underground Railroad”.
  • One (1) hike is held each Saturday morning.
  • Hike lasts about 2.5 hours and begins at the Stone Barn in the Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
  • Trail is not ADA-accessible and not suitable for all strollers.
  • For groups of 10 or more, please contact Park staff to register your group
  • Guided hikes are usually conducted rain or shine
  • For your safety, we do not hike during heavy rain or downpours, high winds, stormy or poor trail conditions, so please call ahead to make sure the park will be open.
  • Interpretive content is suitable for children ages 8 and up.
  • Only therapeutic animals are allowed on the guided hikes. Please leave all pets at home.
  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for hiking.
  • Tick season is here! Be ready to hike outdoors

Self-Guided Hikes

  • Trail is open year-round from dawn to dusk
  • Download an Underground Railroad Experience trail map and enjoy a hike through history
  • Groups of 25 or more, need to make arrangements with the Park Permits office – email at mcp-parkpermits@mncppc-mc.org or call 301-495-2525

What to know before hiking on your own…

  • Parking is very limited – especially Saturdays and Sundays
  • Trail is not ADA-accessible and not suitable for all strollers
  • Weekdays are the best days to hike
  • The best time to hike on the weekends is before 12:00 noon. This park hosts many large special events and weddings each weekend, May – October.
  • Restrooms are limited – a portable toilet is only available when Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park is closed
  • Bicycles are not permitted on this trail
  • Tick season is here! Be ready to hike outdoors

Group Tours & School Fieldtrips

Montgomery Parks now offers a new fieldtrip experience, “World of Young Benjamin Palmer” for students grades 3rd – 5th with hands-on activities that explore the world of Woodlawn’s early residents during the mid-1800s. Parks also offers Group & School Tours of the Underground Railroad Experience Trail, one of our most prominent historic sites to the public for students 4th and up, as well as adult groups. All tours will be presented by trained conductors who will make history come alive for your group.


Step back in time and become an Underground Railroad conductor and/or tour guide for the new Visitor Center! FREE training sessions are held during the season and include a guided hike on the trail. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older, and be able to commit to six Saturdays (or weekdays) per the season through the first weekend of November. SSL hours are eligible.

For more information, please call 301-929-5989.

Last Updated: October 18, 2016