If you’re not sure where to begin your Chesapeake exploration, or if you’re looking for a new adventure, then try a trail or a tour!
Trails and tours capture some of the best sights the Chesapeake has to offer. Usually themed around history and the environment, trails and tours will lead you on an adventure down rivers, along paths, and through beautiful natural areas.
Are you ready to begin? Trace the voyages of Captain John Smith as you paddle down a water trail.
Or follow the paths of historical figures like George Washington and Francis Scott Key while walking and biking. You can even take a leisurely drive through parks, wildlife refuges, and quaint towns on a tour of the Chesapeake’s most special places.
Whether you’re an avid explorer or discovering the Chesapeake for the first time, you’ll love spending a day on a trail or a tour. Learn more about the Captain John Smith, Star-Spangled Banner, and Potomac Heritage trails below, and then check out all the places and events where you can explore trails and tours.
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. 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.
The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem.
Hike, bike, ride and paddle the Potomac Heritage network of trails.
Linking the Potomac and upper Ohio river basins, the Potomac Heritage Trail network follows the paths explored by George Washington. You can follow the same routes today—on foot, bicycle, horse and by boat—exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands.
Celebrate National Puppy Day by bringing your four legged friend along on this 3 mile hike.Surry, VA
An opportunity to get an up close and personal view of these awesome birds in their natural habitat at Caledon State Park.King George, VA
Hike along the river with Dutch Gap Conservation Area guides for an adventurous three miles.Petersburg, VA
Celebrate Maryland’s 385th anniversary with ceremony, pageantry, speeches, and free admission to living history and museum exhibits.St. Marys City, MD
Learn about the magical plant offerings during this season that support health and well-being.Norfolk, VA
Begin your visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area which will offer information, food, souvenirs and more.Washington, DC
This clinic is primarily geared toward people looking to switch to a tarp as their primary backpacking/camping shelter, or perhaps just learn a new skill.Chesterfield, VA
Before you hit the water, learn and practice the skills needed to fish in fresh water.Williamsburg, VA
Explore amphibian life cycles and also see aquatic invertebrates up close as you hike below High Bridge and visit the park's abundant vernal pools.Green Bay, VA
Enjoy a scenic spring ride on the rails from Cumberland to Frostburg.Cumberland, MD
join Annapolis Maritime Museum’s annual oyster roast and sock burning.Annapolis, MD
Enjoy a 3/4 hour presentation about Eastern Bluebirds, then hike to a nest box in the park.Gaithersburg, MD
Explore the rich archaeological resources that have been identified throughout the Park over the past 112 years!Owings Mills, MD
Celebrate spring on the right foot and join the Arlington House Victorian Dance Society for an afternoon of dance.Fort Washington, MD
Bring your furry friend for a two-hour stroll among the cherry blossoms!Washington, DC
Join Master Naturalist Mike Quinlan for a leisurely hike through the Sanctuary to see and hear the signs of spring.Lothian, MD
Join park staff for a night in the woods, exploring the sounds of our early spring frogs and toads - including the Spring Peeper!Edgemere, MD
Bring your flashlight for a guided evening stroll beneath the blossoms.Washington, DC
Enjoy a tour of Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area’s aviary during morning feeding time, followed by a short hike.Owings Mills, MD
Join the Sierra Club for a moderate but brisk-paced hike--8 miles through multiple parks and urban neighborhoods.Washington, DC