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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.

Guilford College K-12 Underground Railroad Curriculum Site

In partnership with the Guilford County Schools and with financial support from the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, Guilford College launched a curriculum with lesson plans targeting 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students learning about the history of the Underground Railroad.

We invite you to view our curriculum resources.

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

Tulip poplar dating back to before 1800.

Present during the documented operation of the Underground Railroad in Guilford County (1819-1852).

A silent witness to the lives and actions of African Americans (enslaved and free) and their white allies (including many Quakers from New Garden).

What can we learn from our shared histories and life stories?

Do we seek to create justice and places of refuge in our own community and in the world at large?