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.
Depart from Henricus Park Visitor Center to explore Powhatan Creek, located next to Jamestown.Chester, VA
Join your Shenandoah Riverkeeper for a gentle and beautiful float down the Shenandoah River accompanied by two Potomac Valley Audubon birders.Front Royal, VA
Enjoy a nature walk focusing on birds in the Big Pool area of the C&O Canal.Big Pool, MD
Come discover Greenbelt Park and learn the ten miles of trails, camp in the beautiful outdoors or volunteer to help the park.Greenbelt, MD
Choose from a large selection of summer and fall blooming native wildflowers, shrubs and small trees at the Virginia Living Museum’s annual fall plant sale.Newport News, VA
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is hosting a build-your-own paddle workshop this fall for woodworkers and kayakers.St. Michaels, MD
Join the world's largest volunteer effort for ocean health by pitching up to keep waterways free of trash.Virginia Beach, VA
You're invited to the 11th Annual Marshy Point fall festival with canoe rides, Marsh Mucker Obstacle Course for kids and more, in Baltimore.Baltimore, MD
Join in this National Mall ranger-led walk to commemorate the dire events of August 1814Washington, DC
Join us for a paddle to the headwaters of Fairlee Creek, one of the largest tributary streams feeding the upper Chesapeake Bay in Kent County.Chestertown, MD
Join Henricus Historical Park for a glimpse into Anglo-Powhatan friendship and trade relations through the early Colonial period.Chester, VA
Enjoy an easy-paced walking tour of three war memorials and Lincoln Memorial. Hear the stories that withstand the tests of time.Washington, DC
Join in commemorating the 100th Anniversary of World War I with living history programs.Fort Washington, MD
Celebrate the internationally famous monarch butterfly migration with Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary staff and volunteers.Lothian, 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
Sailing from the Cannon Street Pier, Chestertown *Please note that Adult tickets and Child (under 12) tickets have different pricing and need to be ordered separately.Chestertown, MD
Dine with the Arrohateck and their English neighbors as they celebrate fellowship.Chester, MD
With music, cocktails, decadent delicacies, and a golden sunset, fanciful fun is promised.Ridgely, MD
Enjoy an informative 1.25 mile walk on the National Mall and learn about FDR and World War II.Washington, DC
Join the Mariners'Museum for bird watching on the Noland Trail.Newport News, VA