• A kayaker paddles on the Patuxent River at the Jug Bay Natural Area. Photo by Middleton Evans.

    Captain John Smith Chesapeake

    National Historic Trail VA,MD,DE,DC,PA,NY

For Kids

Captain John Smith was quite an adventurer when he explored the Chesapeake Bay 400 years ago. Now the trail that is named for him offers lots of adventures for all ages, on water and on land. The more you see and learn about the Chesapeake Bay, the more you will want to explore.

Become a Junior Ranger for the Chesapeake Bay

Begin your explorations right from your computer while you earn a Junior Ranger Badge-for ages 6 through 12.

As a Junior Ranger you will learn about

  • explorer Captain John Smith and his voyages on the Chesapeake Bay
  • the American Indians who lived along the Chesapeake Bay
  • what the Chesapeake Bay was like 400 years ago and what it is like today
  • what you can do as a Junior Ranger to help the Chesapeake Bay.

PLUS you earn a special badge to show that you are an official Junior Ranger for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

It's easy and it's fun. Here's how:

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Junior Ranger Program
P.O. Box 374
Yorktown, VA 23690

A park ranger will review your work. If you've done a good job in learning about the trail, the ranger will mail you a badge and certify you as an official Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Junior Ranger.

You'll find other games and activities for kids at www.smithtrail.net. But the most fun comes from getting out on the trail and having your own adventures.

Did You Know?

Submerged aquatic vegetation

In the 17th century, the Chesapeake Bay hosted hundreds of thousands of acres of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds filled with juvenile fish and abundant blue crabs. Today the disappearance of these beds is a sign of an ecosystem in serious decline. Today fewer than 75,000 acres remain.