Follow in the Wake of Captain John Smith's Chesapeake Bay Journeys

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 and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!


View of the James River from Black Point on Jamestown Island

Energy Project and the James River

Learn about a proposed overhead electric transmission line project in the James River within Virginia's "Historic Triangle".

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A page from the Boater's Guide shows trail access on the James River.

Begin Your Boating Adventure

Whether you paddle, sail, motor, or just dream about it, begin your adventures with the interactive Boater’s Guide to the Captain John Smith Trail.

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A creek surrounded by foliage

Indigenous Cultural Landscapes

The Indigenous Cultural Landscape concept recounts how indigenous peoples of North America have regarded and used this abundant land for generations

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Find Your

FindYourChesapeake offers you the chance to search, explore and enjoy the recreational, educational and cultural opportunities in and around the Bay.

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Kids explore a geocache container

A High-tech Treasure Hunt

The new CJS Geotrail offers adventurers more than 50 geocache sites on 9 Chesapeake rivers highlighting places associated with Smith's explorations.

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A paddler calls a NOAA buoy to learn about Captain John Smith.

“Smart” Buoys Mark the Water Trail

Ten NOAA "smart" buoys track wind and water data and interpret the Chesapeake as Captain John Smith saw it four hundred years ago.

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Chesapeake Explorer mobile app

Chesapeake Explorer - This App's for You!

The Chesapeake Explorer mobile app helps you get to over 400 Chesapeake places including the John Smith Trail for iPhones and Android devices. FREE!

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