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.
Learn to canoe with instruction from James River Association, Richmond, Virginia.Richmond, VA
Depart the Rockwood Nature Center for this ramble along the Appalachian Trail to a 4,000 ft. high meadow.Richmond, VA
Join a Seneca Creek State Park Volunteer Ranger to get out of the office and take a hike!Gaithersburg, MD
Enjoy the Historic Fair Hill Steeplechase Races at Fairhill Natural Resource Management Area.Elkton, MD
Start the cycling season with a 25 mile ride through country roads near Denton.Queen Anne, MD
Get acquainted with a future part of the Sanctuary on this guided hike: the Jug Bay Riggleman Nature Preserve.Lothian, MD
Enjoy hayrides, field games, dancing, music, magic, storytelling, crafts, a petting farm, an antique car show, a bake sale, hikes on the Appalachian Trail and strawberries!Delaplane, VA
USS Constellation’s own Ship’s Company of volunteer sailors and marines come aboard to provide a unique and fascinating view of service at sea.Baltimore, MD
See demonstrations of tactics, armor and weaponry used by the 17th century soldiers who built and protected Henricus.Chester, VA
Paddle up some of the smaller branches of the Patuxent River to look for beavers, birds, and flowering wetland plants.Lothian, MD
Meet Furnace town artisans, and learn the story of the people that lived and worked at Furnace Town - and hear a ghost story or twoSnow Hill, MD
Take part in a rock climbing session on the Tuckahoe State Park Challenge Course!Queen Anne, MD
The third annual Smith Island Art Festival will feature 40 vendors exhibiting artwork, crafts, local seafood, baked goods and native american artifacts.Ewell, MD
Special free programming at Poplar Grove National Cemetery honors American soldiers on Memorial Day WeekendPetersburg, VA
The American Chestnut Land Trust invites you to join them in their guided paddles up Parkers Creek.Prince Frederick, MD
Thrill to the sight of a walking T-rex at the Virginia Living Museum's dinosaur trail.Newport News, VA
Meet at the Calvert Cliffs State Park pavilion to see native reptiles and a bird of prey up close and personal!Lusby, MD
Experience the Patuxent River on a 2-hour public sail aboard a historic Chesapeake Bay skipjack.Solomons , MD
Sailing from the Cannon Street Pier, ChestertownChestertown, MD
Join park staff for entertaining and educational canoe trip exploring Martinak's Watts Creek.Denton, MD