Take an African American History Road Trip Around Montgomery County

Created by Heritage Montgomery, this self-guided road trip offers stories of home and community life as well as the experiences of African Americans during times of restriction and segregation. The sites are organized geographically rather than in the chronological order of their histories.

While there are many significant Black history sites in the county, this tour focuses on those in the western part of the county that are open to the public or visible from the road. Most have limited hours, so please check the websites provided before you visit.

Montgomery County’s African American History

The history of African Americans in Montgomery County, Maryland dates back to the late 1600s. But it was after the Civil War and emancipation in 1864 that the county saw more widespread establishment of free Black communities. Today, their legacy can be seen in the remains of houses and churches, schools, mills, fields, and waterways – places where people lived, worked, and prayed, fished, farmed, and raised families.

Pro Tip: Visit Heritage Montgomery for a deeper dive into Montgomery County’s African American communities.

Road Trip Stops

Grab a beverage, pack a road snack and load up your favorite tunes. This self-guided road trip is a perfect way to spend the day exploring Montgomery County’s rich African American history. And before you head out on your adventure, be sure to download the complete driving tour details to learn even more about each heritage site.

Button Farm Living History Center
16820 Black Rock Road | Germantown, MD

Theme: Slave plantation life during the 1850s and the heroic story of the Underground Railroad.

Amenities: The farm is open seasonally from April-November. Activities include living history tours and events, school programs, recreation and trails, a general store and restrooms.

Black Rock Mill in Seneca Creek State Park
16500 Black Rock Road | Darnestown, MD

Theme: Farming, mills, day work and rural Black communities.

Amenities: Interpretive panels in the mill and Seneca Creek State Park hike and bike trails.

Pro Tip: Seneca Creek State Park offers a wide variety of recreation activities including hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Clopper Lake is popular for picnicking and boat rentals.

St. Paul Community Church
Sugarland Ethno History Project
14730 Sugarland Lane | Poolesville, MD

Theme: African American community history.

Amenities: Interpretive panels and programs by appointment.

Edward’s Ferry Lockhouse 25
End of Edward’s Ferry Road | Poolesville, MD

Theme: Life and work along the C&O Canal.

Amenities: Water access, interpretive panels, towpath trail and restroom. Located in the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

Pro Tip: Did you know you can stay the night in Lockhouse 25? It’s part of the Canal Quarters Program, managed by The C&O Canal Trust.

Warren Historic Site
22625 White’s Ferry Road | Dickerson, MD

Theme: African American community history.

Amenities: Interpretive panels

Historic Town Hall & National Bank | Adam Brockett

Town of Poolesville
Poolesville Historic District

Theme: African American town life

Amenities: Food, restrooms, trials and walking paths, and interpretive panels.

Pro Tip: Poolesville is part of Montgomery County’s Upcounty region and features an extensive array of things to do and explore. Get inspired with the custom Upcounty scenic drive itinerary.

Boyds Negro School
1951 White Ground Road | Boyds, MD

Theme: Segregated school

Amenities: Interpretive panels and programs

Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Boulevard | Glen Echo, MD

Theme: Civil rights of the 1970s

Amenities: National Park Service tours by appointment, arts classes and camps, children’s theater performances, exhibitions, social dance events, concerts, interpretive signage, café, picnic area, playground, and restrooms.

Download the Complete Driving Tour Details

Looking for more history themed experiences in Montgomery County, Maryland? Be sure to check out The Perfect Weekend Getaway Itinerary for History Lovers, African American Heritage Sites and Three Carousels to Add to Your Montgomery County Things to Do List.