• 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

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!

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.