Maritime Heritage Program
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Maritime-Related National Parks in Maryland
Assateague Island National Seashore (also in VA)
- Visit a place recreated each day by ocean wind and waves. Life on Assateague Island has adapted to an existence on the move. Explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal bays. Rest, relax, recreate, and enjoy some time on the edge of the continent.
- For nearly three centuries, Baltimore has stood as a center of commerce and culture for the Chesapeake Bay. The city has seen the incredible transformation of American identity, shaped by war, prosperity, and struggles for freedom and civil rights.
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (also in DC, DE, 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 DC, 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 DC, 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.
- O! say can you see, by the dawn's early light...a large red, white, and blue banner? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, were so gallantly streaming....over the star-shaped Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, September 13-14, 1814. The valiant defense of the fort inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."
- Built to defend the river approach to the Washington, DC, Fort Washington has stood as silent sentry for over 200 years. As technologies advanced so did Fort Washington, from the brick and stone of the nineteenth century to the concrete and steel of the twentieth century.
George Washington Memorial Parkway (also in DC, 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.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (also in VA, WV)
- A visit to this quaint, historic community, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, is like stepping into the past.?Stroll the picturesque streets, visit exhibits and museums, or hike our trails and battlefields. Spend a day or a weekend.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (also in DC, 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 DC, MD)
- 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.