Explore the Chesapeake

NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America.

Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake. Download the Chesapeake Explorer mobile app and have it at your fingertips.

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A view of the Susquehanna River from the new paddling launch and deck at Zimmerman Center for Heritage.

Financial Assistance for Partners

NPS Chesapeake is accepting proposals for financial assistance awards. The funding priority is for public access projects. Deadline is April 10.

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Chicone Creek off the Nanticoke River in Maryland

Indigenous Cultural Landscapes

These landscapes are rich in resources supporting American Indian lifeways and settlements. Read how our research supports conservation efforts.

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Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum hosts gatherings and events about Chesapeake Indians. Photo by Rigby.

Capt John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

Englishman John Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of indigenous cultures and the natural environment of the 17th-century Chesapeake.

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Walking down the pier at Marshy Point State Park

Public Access

See how the National Park Service and partners are working to increase the number of places you can go for fun on the Chesapeake and rivers.

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Kids holding Lotus leaves

Large Landscape Conservation

Read how NPS Chesapeake Bay and its partners collaborate on large landscape conservation to protect resources and provide recreational opportunities.

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Reenactment with cannon fire. Photo by Ruehlmann

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Follow the trail to learn stories of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake and the events that led to the birth of our National Anthem

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At Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve. Photo by Starke Jett.

Explore Bay Gateways and Watertrails

Over 170 Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails offer unique Chesapeake experiences and give you and the whole family an array of fun choices.

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Welcome to the mobile app Chesapeake Explorer

Chesapeake Explorer -- This App's for You

The Chesapeake Explorer mobile app helps you get to over 400 Chesapeake places - national trails, heritage sites, and state and national parks. FREE!

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