3,000 Miles, 15,000 Years of Culture

People first arrived in the Chesapeake Bay during the last ice age. As glaciers melted, diverse societies learned to thrive in a world of water. When Englishman Captain John Smith explored the Bay in 1608, he documented hundreds of American Indian communities. Today, sites on his map are archeological treasures and sacred sites for tribal citizens. Come join us on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay!

Artistic rendering of Werowocomoco town.

Werowocomoco

For hundreds of years before Europeans first came there, Werowocomoco was an important town whose name meant "place of leadership".

A grassy field with a long winding trail and blue sky.

Native Lands Park

The site of the last known Susquehannock town, sixteen ninety-foot longhouses and acres of agricultural fields once stood here.

Two egrets in a marsh.

Virtual Visits

Can't come to the trail in person? Explore photos, videos, and wildlife webcams that will transport you to the rivers and shores of the Bay.

A creek surrounded by foliage

Indigenous Cultural Landscapes

Landscapes that are evocative of the natural and cultural resources supporting American Indian lifeways and settlement patterns.

Living Historians recreate an encounter between Smith and American Indians.

Captain John Smith

Captain John Smith's explorations would shape the future of the Chesapeake Bay and the people who already inhabited it.

John Smith's 1612 Bay Map

Mapping the Bay

Mapping of the Chesapeake Bay stretches back more than 450 years. Who made these maps and why? Find out here.

Last updated: August 30, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 210
Yorktown , VA 23690

Phone:

(757) 898-3400

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