During the first challenge along the Star-Spangled Banner GeoTrail, over 400 first edition SSB geocoins were awarded. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Star-Spangled Banner GeoTour. We are currently out of geocoins but stay tuned for other opportunities along the Star-Spangled Banner GeoTour! A new challenge with a new prize will be ready in 2015.
Come on a journey to remember and commemorate the dramatic chain of events, people and places that led to the birth of our National anthem.
The story of the Star-Spangled Banner was shaped by the events of the Chesapeake Campaign during the War of 1812. From February 1813 until February 1815, the Chesapeake Bay was the center of a fierce struggle between the British and Americans. Places and landscapes still exist today that provide a touchstone to the past. The trail traces events and related sites that figured prominently in the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812 that have national significance, physical integrity, and the potential for contemporary recreation and interpretation.
The Star-Spangled Banner (SSB) Geotrail launched February 27, 2010 with over 30 caches within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A trackable geo coin will be awarded to the first 400 geocachers, while supplies last, for locating at least 20 SSB caches. To be eligible for the coin, geocachers must download a passport from either the SSB Geotrail or Maryland Geocaching Society website. Geocachers must find and log at least 20 finds, record the code word from each cache on their passport and post a picture of themselve at each cache location. After discovering the 20 required caches, geocachers may have their passports validated in person or via mail at the Friends of Chesapeake Gateways office located at 410 Severn Ave, Suite 314, Annapolis, MD 21403. Please refer to the passport for complete validation instructions.
Participating in the SSB geotrail is fun and we hope that many people join in. However, it is not a requirement for logging your find on this cache once you find the container.
The park fee is $3.00 for Maryland residents and $4.00 for non-residents. The park entrance is at N 39 13.613 W 076 25.832. You are seeking a traditional hide. Please park here N 39 12.485 W 076 25.536 and start your journey at the Visitor Center at N 39 12.414 W 076 25.583. From the front of the center take the hiker-biker trail that leads past the restored fountain and the Trolley Station. After seeking the cache be sure to take a walk along the shoreline for an incredible view of the Chesapeake Bay.
North Point State Park in Baltimore County, MD consists of 1,310 acres on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. For more than three centuries, the land on which the park now sits was agricultural, used for farming and livestock. From 1906-1947, however, the Bayshore Amusement Park occupied a portion of the property. People seeking an escape from the heat of the city took the trolley to the site to enjoy rides, bowling and much more. After the park was demolished in the 1940s, Bethlehem Steel bought the property to ward of competing companies from building plants in the area. In the end, Bethlehem Steel did not utilize the land and sold it to the Department of Natural Resources in 1987. This period of non-use allowed the land to replenish itself and become a haven for birds and wildlife.
The scene in this agricultural community in September of 1814 would have been anything but picturesque. News of the burning of Washington (August 24-25) by the British Army had by now spread and American citizens were on alert for their adversary’s next move. In an attempt to take Baltimore, the British, under General Robert Ross, landed approximately 5,000 soldiers on the North Point Peninsula (in the vicinity of Fort Howard Veterans Hospital) on September 12, 1814. The troops then marched up Northpoint Road towards the city, at the time America’s third largest urban center.
American troops under General John Stricker had been sent from Baltimore to meet the British advance. Upon arriving in the vicinity, he deployed a portion of his men between Bear Creek and Bread and Cheese Creek, while holding others in reserve. Around midday, on September 12, 1814, Stricker sent ahead some advance forces to engage the British. Upon hearing the sound of gunfire General Ross, the man who had won the Battle of Bladensburg, moved to the front, and was unceremoniously killed by a sniper’s bullet with command then going to Colonel Arthur Brook. Moments after Ross was hit, the British spotted and killed the American marksman.
For two hours that afternoon, the last land battle of the Chesapeake campaign took place. The approximately 3,200 American milita men held off the trained British regulars, a tactically significant victory that slowed the overland advance on Baltimore. This, in turn, gave American forces much needed time to prepare the city’s defense. Though some of the inexperienced American militia fled, most were steadfast and by 4:00 pm General Stricker called an orderly retreat. The British choose not to pursue and instead camped overnight near a Methodist Meeting House, several miles from the present day park. They then headed back to their ships, not wanting to take on the Americans entrenched at Hampstead Hill. On their return march to the Northpoint Peninsula, British troops burned the Todd Family House.
Visitors to the park today can enjoy the Takos Visitor Center from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11:00am-4:00pm. The Visitor Center provides restroom facilities as well as historical items, a wildlife display and park information. The park offers a wading beach, bay access and bird watching as well as opportunities to crab, fish and picnic. Hiking and biking trails are well marked for nature enthusiasts and families and school groups can take part in historic and environmental programs offered throughout the year. The remnants of Bayshore Amusement Park can be seen in the park and the former Trolley Shed has been restored as an open air picnic pavilion.
See the park map for trail information.
Additional information is available from the North Point State Park Volunteers.
Thanks to Eagleblazer and Legendpilot for helping with this hide and to the Maryland Geocaching Society for assisting with this project!