History Comes to Life on the African American Heritage Trail

Take a trip down the African American Heritage Trail, and you’ll quickly realize the tremendous role that African Americans played in shaping both Vermont’s past and present. History comes to life as you travel the cultural sites along the trail. We hope your visit leaves you with a new appreciation for The Green Mountain State, its people, and culture. Read on to discover what you can look forward to, and for those who want to dive deeper into Vermont’s history, consider our Civil War Package. Underground Railroad safe houses and Civil War historic sites are only the beginning of what you’ll encounter.

Discover Vermont History

Discover the Vermont African American Heritage Trail

What is the African American Heritage Trail?

The African American Heritage Trail is a string of historic sites and museums that traverse The Green Mountain State. The head of the trail is the Rokeby Museum. This museum was once the farm and home of Quaker abolitionists, Rowland and Rachel Robinson. Today, the museum provides an intimate glimpse into the family’s life and the fugitive slaves who once lived here.

The African American Heritage Trail begins in Ferrisburgh and stretches into northwestern and southern Vermont. Many of the historic sites are less than an hour away from The Arlington Inn. We recommend making a day of your trip and seeing as many of them as you can! Here are a few places that you don’t want to miss.

Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home – Site No. 8

During your visit at Hildene, you will learn about Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln. Hildene dives into Robert’s tenure as president of the Pullman Company, which was once the largest employer of African Americans in the United States. “Many Voices” is one of the most thought-provoking exhibits you’ll find at Hildene; it highlights the treatment of African American porter workers at Pullman and raises questions which encourage and stimulate discussion.

Grafton History Museum & Historical Society – Site No. 9

Grafton Historical Society is a must on the African American Heritage Trail. It is one of the few places where you can still find traces of Vermont’s early African American citizens. Here, you will explore the lives of former slaves, Alec and Sally Turner. Learn about the Turner Family’s history as you walk through the village that Alec and Sally once called home.

Turner Hill Wildlife Management Area – Site No. 10

After learning about the Turner Family at the Grafton History Museum, make your way over to the Turner Hill Wildlife Management Area. It is here that the family once lived. Although their home is no longer standing, the foundation remains.

Relax and Dine at The Arlington Inn

After a day of exploring Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail, head home to The Arlington Inn to reminisce the day. When you book any of our cozy Rhoda's Room at The Arlington Inn. accommodations, like Rhoda’s Room, you can always look forward to great amenities, vacation packages, and top-notch service. A hearty, hot-plated breakfast is always included in your stay. If you are ready to plan your next vacation, check our availability and book your stay. We can’t wait to host you!

For more recommendations on historic sites and museums, our free Southern Vermont Vacation Guide is our gift to you.