Suggested Trip

Celebrate National Park Week

National Park Week, April 15 to 23, 2017, is America's largest celebration of national heritage. It's about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks! It's all happening in your national parks.

The National Park Service is once again partnering with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week.

In addition to the 51 National Park locations (see list below) in the Chesapeake region, here are some highlights during National Park Week:

  • April 16–24: Visit for free!: Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission!
  • April 22: Earth Day: On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.
  • April 23: Park Rx Day: On Park Rx Day, parks will host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. (Looking to host your own event? Download A Guide to Planning Your Own National Park Rx Day Celebration [561KB PDF]).

Don't forget to check out www.nationalparkweek.org. There you can share your national park photos, videos, and tips. While you're there, learn all about the ways you can help support your national parks all year round.

National Parks, Trails, Historic Sites, Monuments in the Chesapeake Region:

Engine House at Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS

Allegheny Portage Railroad

The first railroad to circumvent the Allegheny Mountains, the Allegheny Portage Railroad was the finishing piece of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. "The Portage" provided a direct route between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Cresson, PA

Aerial View of Anacostia Park

Anacostia Park

Anacostia Park provides open space and recreation along 5 miles of the Anacostia River in the Nation's capital. It includes trails, boat launches, picnic areas, a swimming pool, a pavilion and Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

Washington, DC

Antietam National Battlefield & Cemetery

Antietam National Battlefield & Cemetery

Antietam National Battlefield commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam that occurred on September 17, 1862 and includes a visitor center, a national military cemetery and a field hospital museum.

Sharpsburg, MD

Trail marker on the Appalachian Trail

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from Georgia to Maine.

Harper's Ferry, WV

Appomattox Court House landscape

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is comprised of many original historic structures along with several reconstructed buildings on approximately 1,700 acres - including the site of the surrender of General Robert E. Lee.

Appomattox, VA

Blue Ridge Parkway scene

Blue Ridge Parkway

A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other, a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands.

Asheville, NC,

Tree Lined Road Through Catoctin Mountain Park

Catoctin Mountain Park

With 25 miles of trails winding through Catoctin Mountain Park, a variety of experiences are available ranging from easy to strenuous, many leading to outstanding scenic vistas.

Thurmont, MD

Drum Corps Reenactors at Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park

This park was created to protect several historically significant locations in the Shenandoah Valley of Northern Virginia, notably the site of the American Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek and the Belle Grove Plantation.

Middletown , VA

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal NHP

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park lets visitors explore history and the Potomac River along the 184 mile canal from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD.

Potomac, MD

Front View of Clara Barton's Glen Echo, Maryland Home

Clara Barton National Historic Site

The Clara Barton National Historic Site was established in 1974 to interpret the life of Clara Barton (1821–1912), an American pioneer teacher, nurse, and humanitarian who was the founder of the American Red Cross.

Glen Echo, MD

guests of Claude Moore Colonial Farm in period attire

Claude Moore Colonial Farm

Step back in time and experience life on a small farm in northern Virginia. Living history programs and demonstrations offer a glimpse of what life was like for a poor farm family, just before the Revolutionary War.

McLean, VA

Sunset at Colonial National Historical Park

Colonial National Historical Park

Colonial National Historical Park is located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and includes Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial Parkway, and Cape Henry Memorial.

Jamestown, VA

Farm House at Eisenhower National Historic Site

Eisenhower National Historic Site

Eisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders.

Gettysburg, PA

Street View of Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site

Explore Ford's Theatre NHS, discover Abraham Lincoln's life in Washington DC, the struggle for a united country, and the motivation behind Lincoln's Assassination.

Washington, DC

Group of Children at Event at Fort Dupont Park

Fort Dupont Park

Fort Dupont is one of 68 forts that are collectively known as the Civil War Defenses of Washington. The park is linked to six surrounding forts by a 7-mile trail suitable for hiking or biking.

Washington, DC

Cannon at Fort Foote Park

Fort Foote Park

Fort Foote sits on high ground overlooking the Potomac River and offers a grand view of Washington and the Virginia shoreline. Fort Foote was constructed in 1863 to strengthen the ring of fortifications that encircled Washington, D.C.

Fort Washington, MD

Aerial view of the Star Spangled Banner Flag Waving Over Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

This late 18th century star-shaped fort is world famous as the birthplace of the United States' National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", written by Francis Scott Key.

Baltimore, MD

Aerial View Fort Monroe National Monument

Fort Monroe National Monument

Fort Monroe National Monument was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia on the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula. Within its 565 acres are 170 historic buildings and nearly 200 acres of natural resources on the Chesapeake Bay.

Fort Monroe, VA

Fort Washington Park

Fort Washington Park

Fort Washington once guarded the water approach to the Nation's Capital and now provides grand views of Washington and Virginia.

Fort Washington, MD

Francis Scott Key Park

Francis Scott Key Park

The park and memorial to Francis Scott Key is located at 34th and M Street, NW, Washington DC, in the Georgetown Historic District. Francis Scott Key lived in a house at this location from 1803 until 1833.

Washington, DC

Frederick Douglas

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site preserves the home and estate of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African Americans of the 19th century. Douglass lived in this houseuntil his death in 1895.

Washington, DC

Innis house at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

When you set foot inside Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park, you walk the bloodiest landscape in North America. No place more vividly reflects the War's tragic cost in all its forms.

Fredericksburg, VA

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

In the heart of the Northern Neck of Virginia stands the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, a tribute to America’s founding father, George Washington.

1732 Popes Creek Road, VA

George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife.

McLean, VA

Sunset at Gettysburg

Gettysburg National Military Park

The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North.

Gettysburg, PA

Carrousel at Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park is a magical place situated on the Potomac palisades near Bethesda, Maryland. Originally a Chautauqua retreat, then an amusement park, this National Park now presents vibrant arts and cultural programs.

Glen Echo, MD

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park

Just 15 miles from the Nation's capital, Great Falls is considered the most spectacular natural landmark in the DC metropolitan area. The park providing a series of trails and overlooks from which to view the falls and the gorge.

Great Falls Park, VA

Trees in Autumn at Greenbelt National Park

Greenbelt National Park

Just twelve miles from Washington, D.C., Greenbelt Park is located in suburban Greenbelt, Maryland. The park features a 174 site campground, nine miles of trails, and three picnic areas.

Greenbelt, MD

Hampton Mansion at Hampton National Historic Site

Hampton National Historic Site

Hampton National Historic Site is the story of people -- enslaved African Americans, European indentured servants, industrial and agricultural workers, and owners. Hampton offers a variety of experiences for its visitors.

Towson, MD

Scenic Overlook View at Harper's Ferry National Historical Park

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park offers a variety of experiences for visitors. Whether you enjoy recreation or historical inquiry, a quiet stroll by the river or a guided program with a ranger, there are opportunities for everyone.

Harpers Ferry, WV

Waterway along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument

Underground Railroad activity represents a different kind of 19th-century battlefield. Like a battlefield, the events that took place on this ground and the people who participated in them are long gone.

Cambridge, MD

Jamestown Island statue

Historic Jamestowne

Site of the first permanent English settlement in North America (1607) along the James River, near the Bay. Explore the remains of the "Old Towne", as well as the "New Towne" where colonists built more substantial homes after 1620.

Jamestown, VA

Turtle on rock in pond at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens preserves rare waterlilies and lotuses in the cultivated ponds near the river. The park also contains the Kenilworth Marsh, the only remaining tidal marsh in Washington, D.C.

Washington, DC

Cannon at Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park offers a wide array of activities, scenic vistas, historic sites and walking trails to interest the casual visitor or the true Civil War historian.

Manassas, VA

Mary McLeod memorial statue

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS

This National Historic Site has much to offer the visitor - from tours of the historic Council House (the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women) to special programs about the history of African American women.

Washington, DC

children listening to park ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield

Monocacy National Battlefield

Monocacy National Battlefield remembers July 9, 1864, the day when Union troops at Monocacy Junction delayed a Confederate force of superior strength for a day -- long enough that Washington, D.C. defenses could be strengthened.

Frederick, MD

Cherry Blossoms in bloom at the National Mall

National Mall and Memorial Parks

Each year, millions visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks to recreate, to commemorate presidential legacies, to honor our nation's veterans, to make their voices heard, and to celebrate our nation's commitment to freedom and equality.

Washington, DC

Guests Gather and Listen to Presenter in front of Oxon Hill Farm House

Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm

Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Cove Farm provide an excellent resource for environmental studies, wildlife observing, fishing, and other recreational activities made possible by easy access to the Potomac River.

Oxon Hill, MD

Three Cannons on field at Petersburg National Battlefield

Petersburg National Battlefield

The Petersburg National Battlefield commemorates the nine and one-half month siege of this city from June 1864 - April 1865.

Petersburg, VA

Piscataway Park

Piscataway Park

Piscataway Park encompasses 5000 acres of open fields, dense forests, and wetlands along the Potomac River directly opposite Mt. Vernon, the land and home of George Washington.

Accokeek, MD

Front View of The White House

President’s Park (White House)

The Center features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders as well as a thirty minute video.

Washington, DC

Picnic Area at Prince William Forest Park

Prince William Forest Park

With cross-country skiing in winter, striking fall foliage in autumn, and great spring and summer recreation spots, Prince William Forest Park is a four-season destination welcoming generations of campers, hikers, bikers and nature lovers.

Triangle, VA

Cannon on field at Richmond National Battlefield Park

Richmond National Battlefield Park

Richmond National Battlefield Park commemorates four major actions of the US Civil War, encompassing a large area with battlefield sites and visitor centers located in the City of Richmond, and nearby counties.

Richmond, VA

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is truly a gem in our nation's capital. It offers visitors an opportunity to reflect and soothe their spirits through the beauty of nature along a tributary of the Potomac River, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Washington, DC

Sewall-Belmont House & Museum

Sewall-Belmont House & Museum

One of the premier women's history sites in the country, the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum maintains an extensive collection of suffrage banners, archives and artifacts documenting the effort to win voting rights and equality for women.

Washington, DC

Scenic Overlook of Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is your escape to recreation and re-creation. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, quiet wooded hollows—plan a hike, a meander along Skyline Drive, or a picnic with the family.

Front Royal, VA

Train engineers and conductors stand in front of engine Nickel Plate 514

Steamtown National Historic Site

Steamtown NHS occupies about 40 acres of the Scranton railroad yard of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, one of the earliest rail lines in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Scranton, PA

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island features miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands that honor the legacy of a great outdoorsman and conservationist.

Washington, DC

Thomas Stone National Historic Site

Thomas Stone National Historic Site

Visit the restored house and stroll the 322 acres of Haberdeventure, a "dwelling place in the winds". Purchased in 1770, this restored plantation home has been open to the public as a National Historic Site since 1997.

Port Tobacco, MD

Audience at dusk in front of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

As the only national park dedicated to presenting the performing arts, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts hosts performances each summer at the Filene Center and the Theatre-in-the-Woods.

Vienna, VA

Yorktown Battlefield and National Cemetery

Yorktown Battlefield and National Cemetery

Revolutionary War battlefield overlooking the port city of Yorktown where Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington ending the War.

Yorktown, VA

April 11, 2017

Main image: Celebrate National Park week at one of the many National Parks in the Chesapeake region like Great Falls Park or Chesapeake and Ohio National Park (Image courtesy: National Park Service)
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