Trails & Tours

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.

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

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.

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Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

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.

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Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

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.

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