Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith mapped and documented nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and its rivers. Along the way they visited many thriving Native American communities and gathered information about this “fruitful and delightsome land.” In December 2006 the U.S. Congress designated the routes of Smith’s explorations of the Chesapeake as a national historic trail—the first national water trail.
Smith’s map and writings influenced exploration and settlement of eastern North America for many generations, and they are a remarkable record of the native cultures and the natural environment of the 17th-century Chesapeake. The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail lets you experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay through the routes and places associated with Smith’s explorations.
Enjoy an entire day sailing the Chester River onboard the schooner SULTANA.Chestertown, MD
Help pull our 20-foot-wide sampling net to catch fish, crabs, and other critters from the Chester River aboard the 1768 schooner Sultana.Chestertown, MD
Departing and returning from SULTANA’s home port of historic Chestertown, SULTANA’s two-hour public sails are a great way to sail the Chester River onboard a traditional schooner.Chestertown, MD
Witness the fall migration of waterfowl as you explore the upper reaches of Morgan Creek, a major tributary of the Chester River.Morgan Creek, MD
Witness the fall migration of waterfowl and the beautiful changing leaf colors in the pristine salt marshes and tidal creeks of Eastern Neck Island Wildlife Refuge.Lower Chester River, MD