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Maritime-Related National Parks in the District of Columbia


Anacostia Park

  • Beneath the bustle of Washington, DC, the song of a meadowlark joins the sounds of friends, families, and fun. Authorized almost a hundred years ago as a multiple use park, Anacostia Park serves as a playground while protecting the natural scenery and water quality of the Anacostia River. The park serves as an example of how far-sighted urban planning serves today?s generation as well.

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (also in DE, MD, NY, PA, VA)

  • 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 seventeenth-century Chesapeake.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (also in MD, WV)

  • Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years, the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural, and recreational treasures.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network (also in MD, NY, PA, VA, WV)

  • 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.

George Washington Memorial Parkway (also in MD, VA)

  • The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

John Ericsson National Memorial

  • During his lifetime, John Ericsson revolutionized several facets of technology. The Swedish-born engineer-inventor is best known for his work during the Civil War when he transformed naval warfare through his design of the iron-plated USS Monitor. The movements of Ericsson?s pencil across his drafting board were as crucial to victory as the movements of Lincoln?s armies across battlefields.

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

  • Wind, water, and land combine here in an age-old dance.? Sparkling in the sun on a breezy day, this natural area of Anacostia Park has origins in a 1926 act of Congress to preserve the forests, water quality, and recreation value of the waterways of Washington, DC.? The park reflects the policies that affect rivers and wetlands.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (also in MD, PA, VA)

  • Linking the Potomac and upper Ohio River basins, the Potomac Heritage Trail network follows the paths explored by George Washington. You can follow the same routes today—on foot, bicycle, horse and by boat—exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands.

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (also in MD, VA)

  • For three years, the young United States was embroiled in the War of 1812. The Chesapeake Bay region felt the brunt of the war, choked by shipping blockades and ravaged by enemy raids. Through sites and landscapes in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and throughout Maryland, the Trail tells the stories of the events, people, and places that led to the birth of our National Anthem.