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!


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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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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Dancer at a gathering at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. Photo by M. Shisler.

Chesapeake Indians Today

It is a misconception that Indians no longer live in the Chesapeake Bay region. There are tens of thousands of American Indians still here today.

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Secretary Salazar speaks at the signing ceremony

Secretary Salazar Designates 4 New Components

Four water trails in five states become historic connecting components to the John Smith Trail. Director Jarvis and others join the celebration.

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

Boater’s Guide to the Trail

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 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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