Find your Chesapeake at these lesser-known parks and historic sites.
In Walter Neitzey’s four decades as a flight instructor and operator of Deep Creek Airport on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay 10 miles south of Annapolis, he probably never once looked down from his cockpit at the bucolic airfield below and thought it might some day be part of a nice state park. But now it is just that.
If Capt. John Smith could come back to retrace his Chesapeake journeys in the early 1600s, he might find portions of Foreman Creek much as he saw it four centuries ago. On this murky tributary of the Sassafras River, trees hug the shores, and lush green beds of wild rice blanket the shallows.
Bald cypress lure Nanticoke paddlers into the past and offers a memorable respite from the increasingly domesticated Chesapeake watershed.
The Pocomoke Rivers offers paddlers a different world of remote and untraveled salt marshes, cypress swamps and deep forests.
The upper Chester River offers a paradise for those paddlers who are looking for a relaxing day trip to meander and explore.
The swampy nature of the Upper Chickahominy River is one reason it remains a delight to explore, with largely undeveloped shores reminiscent of the landscape that Captain John Smith traveled in the early 1600s.
The 298-acre preserve features a mile of beachfront, dunes thought to be 10,000 years old, loblolly pines, oaks, red cedar trees and, in one swale, the rare southern bladderwort. Walk through what feels like the evolution of the landscape over thousands of years
Pickering Creek Audubon Center was donated to the Chesapeake Audubon Society in 1984 to create a place where all visitors, regardless of age or background, could freely experience the beauty and wonder of the Chesapeake ecosystem.
The Potomac River doesn’t just pour out of Washington DC and head straight for the Chesapeake. It has to bend around the Nanjemoy peninsula which juts out of Maryland like a big bulbous nose. Not a lot of people live here, and that makes it beautiful.
Visit a state park in its raw form; before the trails are marked, before the parking area is built, before the interpretive signs are installed. You'll find second-growth and riparian forests, creeks, wildlife...and best of all, solitude.
Subscribe to Trips & Tips - your weekly guide to fun in the Chesapeake region