• 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

Support Your Park

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is charting a new course as America’s first national water trail. It is an exciting time in the life of the new trail as its future is shaped through the National Park Service comprehensive management planning process. There are many opportunities for you to become involved in this process and to make your voice heard.

Even though aspects of the trail are a “work in progress,” the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail already exists. It is a direct route to experiencing the Chesapeake Bay and to becoming involved in restoring the health of this national treasure.

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.