Main content
City of Alexandria Homepage
City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
Share Share RSS RSS Print Print Text Size Text Size NormalText Size LargeText Size Extra Large
Page updated Jul 15, 2014 9:01 PM

No Comments Posted Yet

Walk & Bike the Alexandria Heritage Trail 

AR Heritage Trail Map small image 

Explore Alexandria’s archaeology and history on a unique 23-mile urban trail. The Alexandria Heritage Trail, originally consisting of ten trail segments and eight off-trail detours, is a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Additional areas and signage were added in Fort Ward Park and Potomac Yard in 2012. The trail is designed to give bikers and walkers a flavor of the rich and varied history of Alexandria, using designated street and off-street bike routes across the city. Much of the trail is car and wheelchair accessible.

Here are some resources to help you to enjoy all the Trail has to offer.

Book cover; Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage TrailWalk & Bike the 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. You can purchase a copy at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum and local bike shops, or online from The Alexandria Shop.

Alexandria Bikeways MapAlexandria Bikeways Map 

The 110 locations on the Heritage Trail are marked Alexandria Bikeways: Trails & on-road bike routes in and around Alexandria, Virginia, a map produced by the Office of Transit Services & Programs, Department of Transportation & Environmental Services. Download a copy of the map, or obtain a free printed copy at the Old Town Transit Shop, local bike shops, City Hall (Citizens’ Assistance, first floor), the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, or any City of Alexandria Recreation Center.

An Alexandria Heritage Trail SignLocations and Trail Signs

The Alexandria Heritage Trail location numbers (below) are keyed to the book, Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage Trail. Historical markers are being placed at some of the sites along the Alexandria Heritage Trail and at other locations in the City, in an ongoing project.

Canal Trail

Length: 1.43 miles
Terrain: Predominantly flat trail, bike and walking trails diverge; some street and pedestrian traffic
Highlights: Potomac River Views and Alexandria Canal Tide Lock

Start: Take the Mt. Vernon Trail, or the George Washington Memorial Parkway, to Daingerfield Island, just north of Alexandria. Parking is available straight ahead near the Washington Sailing Marina. Go south on the bicycle trail. 

  1. Pearson’s Island (now Daingerfield Island)

    The island played an important role in property ownership of the Virginia elite from the mid-17th through late 18th centuries. Early records show that John Alexander purchased a part of the island in 1669. He bequeathed a 6,000-acre patent to his son, Robert, who in turn, leased the entire island to Thomas Pearson III in 1696. The southeastern part of the patent-willed to Robert’s nephew, Philip-became the new town of Alexandria in 1749. To his son John, Robert left Pearson’s Island and the land south of Four Mile Run. Another son, Gerrard, received the plantation to the north and built a home, Abingdon, by 1746.

    The land owned by the Alexander children and by Thomas Pearson III came to figure in the estates of the families of George and Martha Washington. Robert’s son, John Alexander, married Pearson’s granddaughter, George Washington’s cousin. Abingdon was bought by John Parke Custis, Martha’s son and George Washington’s adopted stepson, in 1778. It was here that Nelly Parke Custis, Washington’s adopted granddaughter, was born. Although Abingdon burned in 1930, its ruins can be seen on a knoll between Parking Structures A and B/C at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (See the Archaeology Exhibit in Terminal A.)


    Proceed south; at fork, bear left to follow the bike path along the river’s edge. Proceed until you reach the power plant. 

  2. Bellevue Plantation

    The area to the west once held a 17-acre plantation. Some time before 1789, a mill and a home were built; in 1801, the land was leased by the English merchant, William Hodgson, and his wife, Portia Lee, to set up a dairy farm. In 1841, Bellevue was bought by John Slater, who added greenhouses for his floral business, which he had learned from William Yeates (see Site 56).


    Continue south until the path splits. Walkers may take Waterfront Walk to the left; bikers must follow the bike path to the right onto N Fairfax St. 

  3. Old Dominion Glass Factory and “Cross Canal” Neighborhood 

    The area to your right between First and Montgomery Sts. (where the hotel now stands at 901 N Fairfax St) was once on the outskirts of town. The Alexandria Canal cut through this area: there was a “Pathway for horses that pulled the barges [with coal] down the canal.” During the Civil War, freedmen settled across the canal from town in the area known as “Cross Canal.” One of these was Emily Lomax Washington, whose granddaughter, Virginia Knapper, worked in the Old Dominion Glass Factory, which opened here in 1901. One of the four glass factories in town, it employed 250 people in 1920 and made bottles and novelty items.

  4. Alexandria Canal Tide Lock 

    The canal opened a route to the interior by connecting the town with the C&O Canal at Georgetown in 1843. It fueled an economic recovery following the recession of the early 19th century. This lock, completed in 1845, was one of four which lowered and raised the boats 38 feet from the N Washington St. canal elevation to the Potomac level. The lock and gates are protected beneath a reconstruction based on archaeological evidence. Stones removed during its construction are located in Windmill Hill Park (Site 19.)

Download a brochure on the History of the Alexandria Canal.

Walkers continue south through Tide Lock Park to reach the blue boathouse on the left. Bikers continue south to Madison St. The Bay Trail begins here at Oronoco Bay Park. 

Bay Trail

Length: 0.77 miles
Terrain: Flat trail on Old Town streets near the Potomac River; Waterfront Walk for pedestrians
Highlights:  City Marina: Torpedo Factory Art Center and Alexandria Archaeology Museum;  Market Square Trek (History Museums)

Start at the Madison Street entrance to Oronoco Bay Park. 

  1. Ralph’s Gutt (Oronoco Bay Park between Madison and Pendleton Sts.) 

    The bay here is a remnant of a large marsh, Ralph’s Gutt, that dominated the landscape of the northern end of the original town. According to the 1748 map, a “rolling road” skirted the southern edge of the “gutt” over which tobacco was conveyed to the West’s warehouses for export. Many ships were scuttled in the original bay and may remain under the landfill used to make the park.

    Continue to the right on the walking or bike path through the park, turn left onto Pendleton St., then right onto N. Union St., until you reach Oronoco St. 

  2. Site of West’s Point Warehouses and Founder’s Park

    From the park, you can see two metal warehouses. They stand near the site of the first Fairfax County tobacco warehouse, which was constructed in 1732 (before Alexandria was founded) on Simon Pearson’s land (see Site 1) by Hugh West. As one of the last upstream anchorages on the Potomac River, this was a convenient point for shipping. Hugh West saw the potential for the development of an international port. He was also one of the prime movers in establishing a town here in 1749, rather than at Cameron (see Site 33). His family’s burial vault was discovered by archaeologists at Cameron in 1998-2000. West’s wife Sybil, who died at age 83, and others were buried inside the vault.

Read the archaeologist's Public Summary about the West Family burial vault. 

Follow the path paralleling the river through Founder’s Park. At Union and Queen Sts. you enter the Old and Historic Alexandria National Landmark District. 

  1. Alexandria Seaport Center

    A floating museum with a marine science laboratory and a boat-building school, the center maintains Alexandria’s 250-year maritime craft tradition by making longboats. Open to the public.

Visit the Alexandria Seaport Foundation website.

  1. Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.) 

    Construction on this building did not start until after the armistice was declared for Work War I, but the factory did produce torpedoes during World War II. It was transformed by artists in the 1970s into a popular and innovative art center. Now, nearly 200 artists work here. Visit the studios and galleries, and learn at the Art League School. Open to the public.

    Look for a Timeline of Alexandria History on the Torpedo Factory dock, at the corner of the Art Center and the shopping arcade. At the foot of King Street, read a Heritage Trail sign on the King Street Wharf.

Visit the Torpedo Factory Art Center website.

  1. Alexandria Archaeology Museum (Go to the 3rd floor of the Art Center; elevator available in center of waterside of the building.) 

    The museum offers a public laboratory, hands-on discovery kits, exhibits and a computer kiosk. The City archaeologists and part of the two million items in the Alexandria Archaeology Collection, spanning 13,000 years of Alexandria heritage, are here. Open to the public.

    Visit the Alexandria Archaeology Museum website.

    Go out the front (west) door, turn right (north) on N Union St. and turn left at the first street onto Cameron. 

  2. Carlyle-Dalton Wharf (100 block of Cameron St.) 

    Alexandria’s waterfront was originally a bay extending between present-day Oronoco and Duke Sts., and as far west as Lee St. (originally called Water St.). In 1759, two of Alexandria’s founders, John Carlyle and John Dalton, built a large timber wharf extending out into the bay. The timbers of the wharf are still preserved below the sidewalk on the south side of the 100 block of Cameron St. In the 18th century, the bay was filled to make more city blocks.

    Learn more about the Carlyle-Dalton Wharf in the Alexandria Chronicle, 2006, Reaching for the Channel.

    To continue on the Bay Trail, backtrack south on N Union St., cross King St., and proceed to 125 S. Union St. (see Site 12).

    To take the Market Square Trek, continue west on Cameron St. until you reach N. Fairfax St. 

  3. Market Square Trek (Fairfax, King, Royal and Prince Sts.)

    At auction, merchants purchased the best lots in the new town, so that they could build family homes as well as wharves to control access to the waterfront. Three family homes of the merchant town founders can be seen along N. Fairfax St. John Carlyle and John Dalton formed the longest corporate partnership in northern Virginia, although their homes are quite different.

    1. The Dalton House (to your right at 207 N. Fairfax St.) is similar to the Ramsay House in its size and placement on the street, though the façade is not original. A large domed brick icehouse was discovered in the basement; it may have held Dalton’s perishable products until time for resale.
    2. Carlyle House and Park (121  N. Fairfax St.) Backtrack to visit this imposing restored Georgian mansion built in 1753. It was designed according to the traditions of the landed gentry in John Carlyle’s ancestral home in northwestern England. Set back from the street, this was a country manor removed from the commerce of the town. Perched on the bluff, the Carlyles would have seen the broad view of the Potomac, as did the Washingtons at Mt. Vernon. Open to the public. 

      Visit the Carlye House Historic Park website.

      Turn left and continue south.
    3. Ramsay House Visitors Center (221 King St.) is a 1956 reconstruction, based on early photographs, of the home of merchant William Ramsay. It now serves as the visitors center. Open to the public.

      Turn right (west) on King St. and cross N. Fairfax St.; go up steps to the town square and fountain.
    4. Market Square was the center of early Alexandria, and is today the heart of the Old and Historic Alexandria National Landmark District. In the original town plan, public space was demarcated on the 300 block of Cameron, stretching south to Market Alley. Before 1776, the market house, jail and schoolhouse/town hall all stood on Cameron St., while the Fairfax County Courthouse, watchhouse and prison were on N. Fairfax St.

      The Sun Fire and Friendship Company (see Site 51) engine houses sat on Market Alley (near the current fountain), along with the pillory and stocks. By 1817, a new market house, containing butcher stalls, town hall, library, coffee house and museum, had been built along Royal St. In 1871, a fire destroyed the market structures, and a new City Hall of Second Empire design was built. The Police and fire office signs can still be seen on the Fairfax St. side of City Hall. The market continues every Saturday morning on the square.

      Read more about City Hall.

      Cross Market Square to the west; then cross the street and turn right on N. Royal St., to visit the next attraction. 
    5. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (134 N. Royal St.) is composed of two buildings (ca. 1785 and 1792) that hosted George Washington for meals and social occasions. Under the management of John Gadsby (1796-1808), it became famous for the luxury of its accommodations and hosted a variety of distinguished guests including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. Open to the public. Gadsby’s is one of the few preserved tavern buildings in town. During the 1960s, urban renewal brought the need for rescue archaeology. Thousands of English artifacts were excavated at Gadsby’s and at other nearby taverns. Tall ale tankards, large and small punch bowls, and white clay tobacco pipes, snuff bottles, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, medicine bottles and chamber pots (precursors of indoor plumbing) also testify to the clientele’s needs. Much of the service work was performed by African Americans; more blacks were enslaved by tavern keepers than by other business owners.

      Visit the Gadsby's Tavern Museum website.

      Turn left when leaving the tavern, then left again on Cameron St. Step down on your left to see Gadsby’s Ice Well – definitely large-sized for commercial, not domestic use.

      Learn more about the Ice Well.

      Across Cameron St. and down to the right is 315 Cameron St., one of the few black-owned eating establishments. Dominick Bearcroft operated his oyster house from 1817, but he was known for his crab specialties. After gaining his own freedom, he purchased his wife, Esther, and then emancipated her in 1804.

      Backtrack to King St., turn left (east) and then right onto S. Fairfax St. to visit the next attraction. 
    6. Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary (105 S Fairfax St.) The shop was established in 1792 and was owned and operated by the same Quaker family for 141 years (see Site 54). After closing in 1933, the shop became a time capsule; died herbs, bottle labels, pharmaceutical equipment and business records are preserved. Open to the public.

      Visit the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum website.

      Continue south on S. Fairfax St., then turn left onto Prince St. until you reach the Athenaeum. 
    7. The Athenaeum (201 Prince St.) This is one of the few examples of Greek Revival architecture in town. It was built for the Bank of the Old Dominion in 1851-52. After the occupation of Alexandria by Union forces during the Civil War, the bank closed. The cashier buried the assets of the bank until peace was declared, keeping the bank solvent and enabling it to reopen. Today, it houses a museum, operated by the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association. Open to the public.

      Visit the Athenaeum website.

      Look left along S. Lee St. (originally called Water St.) to see how the elevation declines to King St., which was in the original Bay. Behind the Athenaeum is one of the many alleys in the town. High brick walls encircled elite homes and controlled the movements of slaves; alleys also provided places for African Americans to socialize.  

      Continue east on Prince St. to its intersection with S. Union St.

  4. Prince St. Warehouses (100 Prince St. and 125 S. Union St.) 

    Build in the 1780s during Alexandria’s post-Revolutionary heyday, the Shreve-Lawrason and Harper warehouses once held exotic cargo, such as mahogany desks, West Indian rum and Rhode Island cheese. During the town’s less prosperous period, in the late 1800s, the Harper warehouse on Union St. held more staple stock like fertilizer. Note the painted advertisement on the side of the building, one of the few to survive.

    Read about Historic Building and Places on the Waterfront, including these warehouses.

    Turn left onto S. Union St., and proceed half a block.
  5. Wales Tavern and Wharf (115 S. Union St.) 

    Andrew Wales opened a tavern here in the 1780s; his brewery stood at the other end of the alley. Pipes carried water from the river to the brewery two blocks away. Before the new commercial building and the garage were constructed, Alexandria Archaeology discovered the burned tavern basement and artifacts using mugs, oyster shells and sharks’ teeth.

    Proceed south on S. Union St., turn left onto Duke St. 
  6. Point Lumley (foot of Duke St.) 

    This point formed the southern end of the crescent bay around which the first town of Alexandria was established in 1749. While other wharves were built by private merchants, Point Lumley served as the public wharf, and was also the site of the first shipyard; the two points (see Sites 6 and 14) were the first wharves for transatlantic trade. Today they continue as Alexandria’s international port, even though they no longer were points of land after the bay was finally filled in by the 1780s.

See a Heritage Trail Sign

Return to S. Union St. and turn left. Then turn left onto Wolfe St.  to begin the Shipyard Trail. 

Shipyard Trail

Length: 0.62 miles
Terrain: Flat trail on Old Town streets; Waterfront Walk for pedestrians
Highlights: Jones Point Trek; Keith’s Warf; Potomac River Views

The trail begins at the intersection of S. Union St. and Wolfe St. Proceed east on Wolfe St. to the river. 

  1. Site of Roberdeau Distillery (foot of Wolfe Street; park is open) 

    Daniel Roberdeau, a Revolutionary War general, operated a distillery complex on his wharf, which included granaries, a sail loft, and a cooper’s (barrel-maker’s) shop. Born in the West Indies and educated in Philadelphia, Roberdeau imported products from the islands: rum, wines, sugar and molasses. He lived at 418 S. Lee St., in a house which, it is said, had a “great key” from France to open the door.

    See a Heritage Trail Sign, and read an archaeological site report about Roberdeau's Wharf.

    Continue on Waterfront Walk south along the river (bikers dismount). 

  2. Site of Hunter’s Shipyard (see Shipyard Marker on Potomac River, between Wolfe and Wilkes Sts.) 

    Three generations of Hunters operated the shipyard here. Many vessels were built, including, in 1815, the first Potomac longboat, a low-slung, schooner-rigged boat that carried cordwood.

    Continue south on S. Union St. At foot of Gibbon St., turn left; follow the Waterfront Walk along the river’s edge and behind the townhouses. 

  3. Keith’s Wharf  (area to right occupied by townhouses, foot of Franklin St.) 

    In the 1780s, three Alexandria merchants built a wharf at this location, intending it to be the primary shipping point of the town. Franklin St. was laid out to be 100 feet wide so as to encourage trade. In the standard historic grid of 66-foot-wide streets, only Washington St. was built as wide as Franklin St. By 1849, the Alexandria Marine Railway Company established a shipyard here to refit and repair ships. During the Civil War, the wharf was used by the Union forces. In 1931, Ford Motor Company built a service plant here. Archaeologists in 1989 uncovered the remains of the marine railway, a huge shipway, the wharf and the hulls of eight vessels, now preserved under the new townhouse.

    Read an archaeological site report about Keith's Wharf.

    Note the six historic markers near the river.

    To take the Jones Point Trek, continue south on the Waterfront Walk and bear left into Jones Point Park  

    To continue on the Shipyard Trail, follow the path straight ahead to rejoin S. Union St. Turn right, and proceed north to Site 19 in Windmill Hill Park (formerly Potomac View Park). 

  4. Jones Point Trek (near Woodrow Wilson Bridge). 

    VIsit 17 historic markers placed at Jones Point Park by the National Park Service.

    Jones Point was a boot-shaped “point” of land and formed the southern tip of Battery Cove between Keith’s Wharf and the Lighthouse. In 1911, Battery Cove was filled in.

    The Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation, established on the landfill, constructed World War I merchant ships. The metal-hulled vessels were constructed on concrete shipways and launched into the river. The shipways remain near the shore.

    The 1856 Lighthouse is one of the earliest existing inland waterway lighthouses. Inside the picket fence, note the memorial marker to Margret Brent (1601–76). Mistress Brent was an extraordinary woman of Colonial America; she acted as a lawyer and politician, and was the first woman landowner in the colonies. She added to her estates in St. Mary’s City, Maryland, with the grant of a 700-acre plot of land encompassing Jones Point and extending north to present-day Queen St. With this 1654 acquisition, she became the first European owner of land which became part of Alexandria in 1749.

    Visit the District of Columbia South Cornerstone (found in the seawall, facing the river, near the Lighthouse). George Washington included the prosperous port of Alexandria in the 10-square-mile area of Virginia and Maryland, which became the District of Columbia. As the Federal District survey team laid out the boundary, they placed markers every mile along the perimeter; the first stone was placed in 1791. This stone was erected in 1794 on dry ground; the rising sea level has submerged the end of the point.

    Read more about the Boundary Stones.

    Ropewalks were long buildings in which workers walked backwards the length of the structure, spinning raw fiber into rope for ships. Remains of Josiah Davis’ 19th-century ropewalk were discovered here; it extended about 1,200 feet. Many rope makers were African Americans, both slave and free. A typical advertisement for runaways appeared in the “Alexandria Gazette” of June 10, 1784:  Runaway from Ropewalk: Ishmael has worked at the rope making business for several years. Purchased from Norfolk, it is probably he’ll make for that place or Baltimore and endeavor to pass as a freeman.

    Native Americans lived on the point at least 9,000 years ago, judging from the age of the oldest stone tool discovered here. Archaeologists also found pottery and evidence of 2,000-year-old houses.

    Backtrack to S. Union St., and go north until you reach Gibbon St. and Windmill Hill Park on your left. 

  5. Windmill Hill (S. Union St between Gibbon and Wilkes Sts.) 

    The bluff to the left of the tunnel was called Windmill Hill into the 20th century. It was here that a water-drawing windmill was built in 1843, much to the amazement of the locals. African Americans fleeing slavery during the Civil War crowded into Union-occupied Alexandria; they lived in shanties at the base of the bluff and held religious services here. The amphitheater-like shape of the park was created for the town’s 200th anniversary play in 1949.  

Visit a Heritage Trail Sign.

Continue north on s. Union St. and turn left onto the path into the Wilkes St. Tunnel to begin the Hayti Trail. 



Hayti Trail

Length:  1.33 miles

Terrain:  Predominantly flat trail on Old Town streets; street and pedestrian traffic; ride with caution

Highlights:  Church and Freedmen Detours; Cemetery and West End Treks; Wilkes Street Tunnel: Hooff’s Run Bridge; African American Neighborhoods, Churches and Park

To begin the Hayti Trail, enter the Wilkes St. Tunnel in Windmill Hill Park. The park is found on S. Union St. between Gibbon and Wilkes 

  1. Wilkes St. Tunnel (under the 200 and 300 blocks of Wilkes Street) 

    Completed in 1856, this tunnel gave direct access to the busy Alexandria port along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad tracks, which opened in 1851. The tunnel is one of the two oldest surviving railroad structures in town (see Site 29). The tracks continued west on Wilkes St., curving over to Wolfe St., and then proceeded out of town parallel to Duke St.

    At the exit of the tunnel on S. Royal St. you enter the historic African American neighborhood known as “Hayti;” oral history rediscovered the name.  

  2. “Hayti” free African American Neighborhood. (pronounced hay-tie) 

    This free African American neighborhood once encompassed the area around the Wilkes St. Tunnel. As early as 1810, Hayti was a center for antebellum free black life where African Americans established homes and businesses. Quakers enabled the formation of Hayti. The area was named after the island of Haiti, where a successful slave revolution against French colonialism occurred in the early 1800s. Archaeological studies yielded thousands of Hayti artifacts, archival research and oral histories.

    To continue on the Hayti Trail, follow Wilkes St. from the end of the tunnel west to Site 22, the 600 block of Wilkes.  

    To take the Church Detour, turn right onto S. Royal St. and right again onto Wolfe St.; proceed for one block, then turn left onto S. Fairfax St.  

    Church Detour. The block on your left served as a religious hub at the turn of the 19th century to Presbyterians, Methodists and Catholics. Visit the Old Presbyterian Meeting House (321 S. Fairfax). A symbol of the town’s Scottish heritage, it was first constructed about 1775; after a fire in 1835, the current building was erected. Visit the adjoining cemetery and the “flounder” half-gable brick building. This half-gable style was used when a structure was needed but funds or time did not allow construction of a full-gabled home. The flounder was placed well back from the street, so that it could serve as a kitchen after the permanent home was built in front of it to conform to the urban grid. Other flounders are on S. Fairfax, S. Lee and S. St. Asaph Sts.

    Read more about the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.

    Proceed on S. Fairfax St. and turn left onto Duke St. Methodists built their first meeting house on Chapel Alley off Duke St. in 1791; the congregation continues today as Trinity United Methodist Church on Cameron Mills Rd. African American church members (about 35 percent of the total) established their own chapel in 1832 (see Freedmen Detour).

    Continue on Duke St., and turn left onto S. Royal St. Visit St. Mary’s Catholic Church (310 S. Royal St). Until American independence, there were strict laws against practicing Catholicism. It was only with the adoption of the Virginia Bill of Rights in 1786 that public mass was permitted. The first church (no longer standing) was built in 1796 in St. Mary’s Cemetery (see Freedmen Detour); the church was consecrated on this site in 1826, and then modified several times.

    Backtrack to Duke St., turn left, and proceed one block. Turn right onto S. Pitt St. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (228 S. Pitt St.) was formed in 1809 due to a split between members of Christ Church (see Site 49). The building was designed by Benjamin H. Latrobe, America’s first professionally trained architect, and was completed in 1818. Latrobe is well known or his work on the U.S. Capital and the White House.

    To rejoin the Hayti Trail, backtrack to S. Royal St. and turn right (south). Turn right onto Wilkes St., and cross its intersection with S. St. Asaph St. 

  3. Site of the Wilkes St. Pottery (North side of the 600 block of Wilkes St.)

    Learn about the Wilkes Street Pottery, and potters John Swann and Benedict C. Milburn.

  4. The "Bottoms" and Oddfellows Hall. Early black neighborhood and meeting hall.

  5. Alfred St. Baptist Church Has provided African American spiritual and educational leadership for nearly 200 years.

    Read an archaeological site report on the Alfred St. Baptist Church.
  6. District of Columbia SW Mile Marker 1. Placed in 1791 by the District of Columbia survey team to record one mile from the South Corner Stone (see Site 18 D).

    Read more about the Boundary Stones.
  7. Cemetery Trek (12 cemeteries formed outside town limits)

    Learn more about Historic Cemeteries of Alexandria.

    Read Those Upon the Curtain Has Fallen: The Past and Present Cemeteries of Alexandria, VA, by Mark Greenly, Alexandria Archaeology Publications, 1996.
  8. Orange & Alexandria Roundhouse Once was the rail hub for Union forces in the Civil War.
  9. Franklin & Armfield Slave Office and Pen Enslaved people were held here until they were shipped to the South for resale.

    Read an archaeological site report and history of the Slave Pen.

    Visit a Heritage Trail Sign at 1323 Duke Street, the site of L'Overture Hospital.
  10. Hoof’s Run Bridge Alexandria’s oldest surviving bridge
    A Trail Sign is located in the African American Heritage Park at Duke Street and Holland Lane. 
  11. Old West End Village Trek
    Trail Sign is located in the African American Heritage Park at Duke Street and Holland Lane.

    1. Bruin and Hill Slave Pen

      Read an archaeological site report about the Bruin Slave Jail.
    2. King Street Gardens
    3. District of Columbia SW Mile Marker 2

      Read more about the Boundary Stones.
    4. Union Station

      Read about Alexandria's Union Station in the Historic Alexandria Quarterly.
    5. George Washington Masonic Memorial

      Visit the website of the George Washington Masonic Memorial.
    6. Shuter’s Hill Brewery

      Read an archaeological site report about the Shuter's Hill Brewery.
    7. Virginia Glass Company

      Read an archaeological site report about the Virginia Glass Company.

      Read more archaeological site reports about the historic West End Village.
  12. Silver Leaf Society Cemetery and African American Heritage Park

    Visit the African American Heritage Park website.


Baron of Cameron Trail

  1. Old Cameron Run
  2. Cameron Mills and Cameron Village

    Read an archaeological site report on Cameron Mills and Cameron Farm.

    D-3 Phoenix Mill Detour 


Mill Race Trail

  1. Camp California and Cameron Station 
  2. Bicentennial Tree 
  3. Alexandria’s 250th Anniversary Time Capsule 
  4. Cloud’s Mill and Mill Race
    D-4 Winkler Preserve Detour 


Preservation Trail

  1. Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center and Dora Kelly Nature Park and Wildlife Sanctuary 
  2. Stonegate Archaeological Preserve

    Read archaeological site reports about the Stonegate archaeological preserve.
  3. Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site

    Visit the Fort Ward Museum website.

The Fort Heritage Trail

Fort Ward Park at 4301 W. Braddock Road. This 2012 addition to the Heritage Trail marks the site of the post-Civil War African American community known as The Fort.

Read The Fort Heritage Trail Brochure, or request a printed copy by contacting the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.

Visit Fort Ward Park to see these Heritage Trail signs:

Campaign Trail

  1. Fairlington Village Historic District and Oakland Baptist Church 
  2. Seminary/Chinquapin Trek 
  1. Braddock Cannon 

D-6 Ivy Hill Cemetery Detour
D-7 Rosemont Historic District Detour
D-8 Town of Potomac Historic District Detour

Eight Trail Signs tell the  history of Del Ray, an early streetcar suburb. 

  1. Alexandria 200th Anniversary Time Capsule 


Sugar House Trail

45. Alexandria Black History Museum and Watson Reading Room 

46. Lee Family Trek 

  1. Edmund Jennings Lee
  2. Lee-Fendall House
  3. Cornelia Lee Hopkins
  4. Robert E. Lee
  5. Mount Vernon Cotton Mill

47. Friends Burying Ground 

48. Lloyd House and Hoffman Sugar House 

49. George Washington Trek 

  1. “Lighthourse Harry” Lee
  2. Yeaton Fairfax House
  3. George Washington Townhouse Lot
  4. Christ Church

50. Moore-McLean Sugar House 

51. Friendship Firehouse 


Friends Trail

52. The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum 

53. Piercy Pottery 

54. Stabler Homes 

55. Alexandria Academy and Friends Meeting House 

56. Yeates Garden 

Potomac Yard Trail

Potomac Yard SignsThese seven Heritage Trail signs were placed at Potomac Yard in 2012.


Star-spangled Banner Trail

Discover the War of 1812 on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail —  a path tracing troop movements through historic places, inspiring landscapes, charming waterfront towns, and waterways of the Chesapeake Bay region. Along the way, you’ll follow the story of the United States National Anthem and the citizens, soldiers, and leaders who faced British military might on home territory just thirty years after the American Revolution.  Three Star-Spangled Banner signs are being placed in the City parks. "Raise the White Flag" is installed in Waterfront Park. "Plundered" is being installed in the Torpedo Factory arcade, near the Timeline. "Fighting Back" is being placed at the base of Shuter's Hill, across from the Callahan Drive crosswalk.