Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.

Trips and Tips

Featured Tips This Week


A Note About COVID-19 and Visiting Parks Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.

A Note About Our Virtual Trips & Tips

We know there is a lot of uncertainty and upheaval in our world right now. We also know how much the parks in the Chesapeake Bay watershed mean to you and how they can be a place of discovery and comfort and hope for us all. We hope that our updated virtual Trips & Tips newsletters will help bring the parks to you while we all do our part to keep ourselves, our families, and communities healthy and well. Share your favorite virtual visits and follow us at @ChesapeakeNPS, #FindYourChesapeake. Sign up for Trips & Tips.

Top Hiking Trails Along the C&O Canal

Hiking along the C&O Canal itself is pretty fantastic, but if you prefer to get off the beaten path a bit there are also some great trails you can take. One of the most well known, is the Billy Goat Trail that is accessible from the towpath near the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center and has three different sections, offering three different levels of difficulty. Near milepost 112, Fort Frederick provides great hiking opportunities to Green Ridge State Park, Paw Paw Tunnel, and more. More top hiking trails along the C&O Canal with links.

Autumn Kayaking on McIntosh Run

This awesome autumn paddle launches from Leonardtown Wharf Park  passes through the brackish waters of Breton Bay (off the Potomac River) before proceeding to the scenic, narrow, freshwater sections of McIntosh Run.  McIntosh Run has been described as “one of the most ecologically intact watersheds remaining in Maryland.” Blogger Saki’s itinerary provides ample opportunity to see the area’s abundant flora and fauna, including a beaver dam, bald eagles, osage orange trees, great blue herons, turtles, and more. As with all paddles, be sure to review safety tips before you launch.  Read Autumn Kayaking on MacIntosh Run.

Bat Week!

This is the time of year when bats get represented as being scarey, dark, and spooky. Maybe that’s why October 24-31 has been designated as Bat Week. Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature – eating tons of insects, pollinating flowers, and spreading seeds that grow new plants and trees. The Maryland DNR is helping promote bat week by hosting a free webinar about the benefits of bats and the different species of bats found around the world and in Maryland. Register for Beneficial Bats. Become a Bat Hero by learning all the ways bats are vital to ecosystems and economies at  Pocahontas State Park, Oct. 24, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Registration for Faces of Bat Week at Pocahontas State Park.

Take a Virtual Tour of Tangier Island

As part of the Riverview Virtual Tours series, the Chesapeake Conservancy has just released its virtual tour of Tangier Island. The tours are similar to what you would experience with Google Street View, but from the perspective of the water rather than the street. The tour of Tangier Island is especially timely, as the future of the island is threatened by erosion and sea level rise due to climate change Whether you are interested in Tangier Island for future visits – by land or by water – or because of its unique history and culture, this virtual tour is a must-see. Launch your virtual tour of Tangier Island.

Living Shorelines Webinar for Homeowners

The James River Association is hosting a free webinar for waterfront homeowners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The webinar will cover signs of shoreline erosion concerns, options for stabilizing an eroding shoreline, how living shorelines can improve water quality and habitat in local waterways, and where to go for assistance and advice, including financial assistance. The webinar will be presented on Oct. 21 at 5:30 pm. More information and registration.

Halloween Night at Pickering Audubon

No plans for Halloween yet? If your idea of a good time on Halloween is to wander around through the woods in the dark watching and listening for things that go bump in the night, then this is your venue. You may see an owl swooping silently through the treetops or hear a raccoon out for an evening snack. $5 per person. Oct. 30, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Easton, MD. More informatin and registration. 

October 19, 2020

Main image: Little Orleans Bridge, C&O Canal National Park. Karen Lowry, Maryland DNR
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