Skip to Main Content

Hege Library & Learning Technologies

Underground Railroad in Guilford College Woods

Although the Underground Railroad network was secretive and no blueprint for it survives, it is generally agreed that a southern terminus was centered around the New Garden community in Guilford County, North Carolina.

Site Navigation

We are glad you have come to this website to learn more about the history of the Underground Railroad on Guilford's campus. We invite you to explore the many resources here--you can most easily do so by navigating the menu on the lefthand side of the page. There, you will find links to schedule a visit, to learn more about the curriculum resources, to read history and stories, and to find additional resources as well.

Welcome to the Guilford Woods

Known as the New Garden Woods in the 1800s, this is felt as a sacred place. Located within the historically Quaker New Garden/Guilford College community, it encompasses old growth forest and at least one champion tree standing as a silent witness to Underground Railroad activities.


  • 240-acre oasis of biodiversity
  • Land of Saura and Keyawee peoples, settled by European American Friends (Quakers) in the 1700s
  • Site of encampment of British and American troops in the Revolutionary War
  • Refuge for enslaved Africans seeking freedom via the Underground Railroad and Quaker men escaping Civil war Confederate draft in the 1800s
  • Site of former College farm
  • Educational and recreational resource

Trail to the champion tree is 0.3 mile one-way. It includes uneven surfaces with an accessible viewing platform and seating at the end.

Underground Railroad Tree

This old growth Tulip tree, dating back to before 1800, was present during the documented operation of the Underground Railroad in Guilford County (1819-1852). The tree stood as silent witness to the lives and actions of African Americans (enslaved and free) and their white allies (including many Quakers from New Garden).

We ask visitors and friends:

  • What can we learn from our shared histories and life stories?
  • How do we seek to create justice and places of refuge in our own community and in the world at large?

Contact us

To schedule a tour or for questions about visiting please contact or call 336.316.2442.

Upcoming Events