Alexandria Heritage Trail
About the Alexandria Heritage Trail
The Alexandria Heritage Trail, covering 23-miles, has been designated as a part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Through five geographic regions, the varied segments of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail are a means to explore the origins and continuing evolution of the Nation. To date, 830 miles of existing and planned trails have been recognized as segments of the Trail network.
The Alexandria Heritage Trail continues to grow, with new signs added each year.
New markers are in the news. Alexandria residents continue to preserve African American history, new markers added. WJLA, December 6, 2021. See the new marker on the Domestic Slave Trade, below.
Heritage Trail Maps and Guidebook
Alexandria Heritage Trail Map: Print an 11x17 map of the full Alexandria Heritage Trail.
Old Town Map: Print an 11x17 map of the Old Town section of the Heritage Trail.
Alexandria Heritage Trail guidebook: Take this 80-page illustrated guidebook with you on your journey. Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage Trail: a Guide to Exploring a Virginia Town’s Hidden Past, by City Archaeologist Pamela J. Cressey, contains maps of each trail segment and historical and archaeological information about 110 locations on the Heritage Trail. This book is out of print, but is still be available from online resellers.
Heritage Trail Signs
Historical markers are being placed a number of locations in the City of Alexandria, on the Alexandria Heritage Trail and beyond. See below for special groups of signs at Jones Point, Fort Ward Park, Chinquapin Park, Del Ray and more.
- Timeline of Alexandria History (City Dock behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center, in the shopping arcade on the south end toward King Street)
- Alexandria Library Sit-In (711 Queen Street, outside of Barrett Library)
- Alexandria War Memorial (Alexandria Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive)
- The Baggett and Hellmuth Slaughterhouse (1501 Cameron Street)
- The Berg (600 block N. Royal Street)
- Bloxham Family Cemetery (116 South Quaker Lane)
- Bloxham Cemetery: Portal to the Past (116 South Quaker Lane)
- Cameron Valley (Meridian at Eisenhower Apartments - 2351 Eisenhower Ave)
- Carver Nursery School/Post 129 (224 N. Fayette Street)
- The Domestic Slave Trade (Waterfront Park, east of The Strand and south of King Street)
- 1323 Duke Street -- From Slavery to Freedom and Service (1323 Duke Street)
- The Edmonson Sisters (1707 Duke Street, in front of the Bruin Slave Pen building)
- The First Parker-Gray School (901 Wythe Street, in front of Charles-Houston Recreation Center)
- Foot of King Street (Waterfront Park)
- Industrialization on the Strand (211 Strand, Watermark Condominiums)
- Ramsey Homes (North Patrick Street between Pendleton and Wythe Streets)
- Ramsey Homes Civil War & Archaeology of the Block (North Patrick Street between Pendleton and Wythe Streets)
The Student-Athletes of Parker-Gray High School (900-block Madison Street, behind Charles-Houston Recreation Center)
Suffragists and a Courtroom Decision in Alexandria (SW corner of Prince & St. Asaph streets)
- Waterfront Archaeology (211 Strand, Watermark Condominiums)
- The West End (in the African American Heritage Park, Duke Street and Holland Lane)
- Wilkes Street Tunnel (on the path to the tunnel on Wilkes Street, at the entrance to the tunnel near S. Lee Street)
- Windmill Hill (at entrance to park on S. Union Street, between Wolfe and Gibbon Street)
- Hoof's Run Bridge (in the African American Heritage Park, Duke Street and Holland Lane)
More Heritage Trail Signs
Ben Brenman Park Signs: Historic Ship Preservation
Three signs discuss ships and their preservation.
Chinquapin Park Trail Signs
Chinquapin Village was built for workers at the Torpedo Factory. (3210 King Street)
Del Ray and the Town of Potomac Trail Signs
Eight Trail Signs were installed in 2008, on the 100th anniversary of this early streetcar suburb.
- The Town of Potomac (Mount Vernon Avenue)
- Mount Vernon Avenue (Farmer’s Market, East Oxford & Mount Vernon avenues)
- The Electric Railway (Mount Vernon Community School, 2601 Commonwealth Avenue, on the west side)
- Schools in the Town of Potomac (Mount Vernon Community School, 2601 Commonwealth Avenue, on the Mount Vernon Avenue side
- St. Asaph Racetrack (Charles Hill Park, East Oxford & DeWitt avenues)
The Bluemont Line (Mount Jefferson Park, 200 block of East Raymond Avenue)
- The Alexandria Almshouse (Simpson Stadium Park, 426 East Monroe Avenue)
- Potomac Town Hall and Firehouse (Fire Station 202, 213 East Windsor Avenue)
Fort Ward Park Trail Signs
Six signs tell the story of a post-Civil War African American community. (4301 West Braddock Road)
- From Civil War to Civil Rights. A timeline of the African American community, "The Fort," established here from after the Civil War and continuing into the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s.
- African Americans and the Civil War. Fleeing, fighting and working for freedom.
- Within Its Walls -- A Foundation for Education and Opportunity. The community's children were educated in the one-room "Colored School Building at Seminary, and later at the Seminary School for African Americans.
- The Oakland Baptist Church. Several members of The Fort were founders of the Oakland Baptist Church.
- The Oakland Baptist Church Cemetery. Originally a small family cemetery, the land was conveyed to the Oakland Baptist Church in 1939.
- The Jackson Cemetery. In 1884, James F. Jackson purchased the largest parcel in The Fort. The Jacksons later established a cemetery on part of the land.
Jones Point, Ford's Landing, and Keith's Wharf Trail Signs
Most of these signs are not currently available as PDFs. Please pay them a visit.
- Jones Point: Visit 17 historic markers placed at Jones Point Park by the National Park Service. The Park is at 1 Jones Point Drive (walking access from the north end of Royal Street)
- Ford's Landing: Look for a series of historic signs on the waterfront walkway at Ford's Landing, at the east end of Franklin Street.
- Keith's Wharf: Historic signs mark the site of Keith's Wharf between Powhatan Park and Jones Point Park.
Potomac Yard Park Trail Signs
Seven signs tell the history of this area, once the largest rail switching yard on the east coast. (2501 Potomac Avenue)
- Virginia's First Highways. Native Americans in the area of Potomac Yard.
- The Alexanders and Agriculture. The first European land owners.
- Building Potomac Yard. The Yard opened in 1906.
- The People of Potomac Yard. As many as 1,500 employees worked at Potomac Yard.
- Crossroads of Transportation. Roads, passenger rail and the Canal also crossed through the Yard.
- The Rail Yard Hump. The Hump played a crucial role in switching and classifying the freight cars.
- Potomac Yard in Transition. The Yard closed in 1982, and is the site of ongoing development of homes and businesses along Route 1 in Alexandria and Arlington.
Star-spangled Banner Trail Signs
Three signs are located in Alexandria as part of the Star-Spangled Banner Trail, developed by the National Park Service, commemorate the War of 1812.
- "Raise the White Flag" (Waterfront Park, 1a Prince Street)
- "Plundered" (Torpedo Factory arcade, 101 N. Union Street, near the Timeline)
- "Fighting Back" (Base of Shuter's Hill, across from the Callahan Drive crosswalk)
Wayfinding Signs and Self-Guided Tours
Wayfinding Signs can be found on and around King Street, from the Masonic Temple on Shuter's Hill to the waterfront. They are best explored on foot, or you can see the panels online.
Finding Historic Locations Through Wayfinding
Explore Historic Alexandria with self-guided tours. Walk or bike with the guidance of brochures, maps and cue-sheets, cell tours, podcasts or apps.
Self-Guided Tours of Historic Alexandria