Byways to Explore for Black History Month

Black History Month provides an ideal opportunity to explore scenic byways that teach us about the contributions, sacrifices, tragedies, and triumphs of Black people throughout our history– including a newly annexed section of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, which now extends from Maryland into Pennsylvania. Here are a few notable routes.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Harriet Tubman, courtesy history.com

This Maryland byway travels 125 miles past 45 designated historic sites along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. And, in a further nod to her heroism, a new extension of the byways was recently designated in Pennsylvania. As you explore the route, you’ll learn more about Harriet Tubman, who bravely guided enslaved people from the South to freedom in the North, serving as a spy, scout, soldier, and a nurse in the Union Army.

Selma to Montgomery March Byway

Montgomery, Alabama

This 54-mile trail and All-American Road follows the path of the historic March 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge and passing other points of interest.

Journey through Hallowed Ground

tree path fence mountain
Gettysburg

This national scenic byway connects Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, known for its comprehensive interpretation of enslaved life at the presidential estate, with Gettysburg, passing other historic sites along the way. Civil War battlefield sites along the way include Antietam National Battlefield, where the Union’s victory prompted Abraham Lincoln to release the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The route also includes Harper’s Ferry, the site of John Brown’s famous 1859 uprising. James Madison’s Montpelier estate, also located along the byway, has won acclaim for its bold and innovative interpretations of enslaved life.

For more byways travel inspiration, visit www.scenicbyways.org.