Chesapeake Gateways

Chesapeake Bay Gateways are the places to experience, first-hand, Chesapeake life and culture. Gateways are the Bay’s hidden treasures — each communicating a unique relationship and story of the Chesapeake. Gateways are parks, wildlife refuges, maritime museums, historic sites and water trails. They are places you can go to volunteer, explore, enjoy, relax, learn or simply renew your spirit.



The Chesapeake Bay Gateways tell the stories of the way that water, place, nature and people have been connected over time. The journeys of generations traveling up from and down to the Bay are told on the rivers such as the Susquehanna, Potomac, James, and Rappahannock. Follow the path of early adventurers on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Experience the hardships and triumph of life in the Chesapeake region at places such as Historic Jamestowne, Historic St. Mary’s City, Historic London Town and Gardens, Annapolis and scores of other settlements. Trace the movement of troops and hear the tales of the military events that have shaped the course of a nation. Explore the sites and landscapes that witnessed the birth of a new nation with George Washington’s victory at Yorktown. Follow the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and experience the events of the War of 1812 and the victory at Fort McHenry that inspired the nation’s anthem.


Gateways are places that can inspire and where discoveries are around every bend in the trail. Discover the living maritime traditions of watermen who work the Chesapeake Bay on boats with fascinating names like clipper, bugeye, deadrise, and skipjack. Make your own adventure and get out on the water on one of the many water trails. Or explore the many hiking and biking trails available for adventurers of every age and skill level. Hikers, bikers, and paddlers can find adventures that will last a few hours or days on end.


Gateways encourage you to volunteer and get involved with Chesapeake Bay preservation. As groups or individuals you can have fun while helping to save the Bay. Whether restoring lost marshland, cleaning up a beach or river, planting trees, or educating others about Bay stewardship, these projects offer rewarding hands-on Chesapeake experiences. Gateways connect you with the waters where people have gone for centuries for life-sustaining food such as oysters, crabs, and fish. The Chesapeake region is home to many other natural wonders that can be experienced through the Gateway sites. Stunning waterfowl migrations, the quiet beauty of pristine landscapes, and an abundant wildlife population await you as you explore and play in the Chesapeake region.

Last updated: December 17, 2018

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1750 Forest Drive
Suite 140

Annapolis , MD 21401


410 260-2470

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