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.
Explore the Adkins Arboretum’s diverse plant communities on a guided walk led by an Arboretum docent naturalist.Ridgley, MD
Join your Potomac Riverkeeper, The Chesapeake Conservancy and REI for a guided and interpretive paddle to learn about the history of the Ghost Fleet.Nanjemoy, MD
Join the Potomac Riverkeeper and Friends of Dyke Marsh for a wonderful sunset paddle and learn about conservation efforts underway to preserve and restore Dyke Marsh.Alexandria, VA