The Portland Freedom Trail is a self-guided walking tour in that offers an insightful perspective about the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement. A downloadable map – from portlandfreedomtrail.org – describes the people, places, events and daily life for African-Americans and abolitionists. Each of the 16 markers is inscribed with the historical significance of that location during the time period – approximately 1829 to 1866 – but the map on the trail’s website offers even more detail. It’s worth the download before you head out the door.
Portland artist Daniel Minter created the markers for the Portland Freedom Trail and is the founding director of the nonprofit, Maine Freedom Trails Inc., that coordinated the project. The first of the 16 markers was installed at the Eastern Cemetery in 2006.
The walking tour starts at the Franklin Street Wharf (by the Maine State Pier), where slaves arrived as stowaways, and winds through downtown Portland. The trail requires less than two miles of walking to see in its entirety.