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Maritime-Related National Parks in Pennsylvania


Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (also in DC, DE, MD, NY, 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 Bay Gateways Network (also in DC, MD, NY, 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.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (also in NJ)

  • Paddlers slip down the river between low forested mountains, anglers wade the trout streams, and hikers scan the valley from the ridge or peer into the 1000-foot deep Water Gap. The valley has known human hand and voice for 10,000 years. Floodplains nourished the Native farmer; waterfalls drew the Victorian vacationer. Today, a 70,000-acre park welcomes those who seek the outdoors close to home.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (also in DC, MD, 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.

Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area

  • The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is the birthplace of the movements that shaped the nation, fueled its growth, and reclaimed its future. It was along the banks of this river and its tributaries that the American, Industrial, and Environmental Revolutions were born. Explore the stories, visit the places, and experience the region?s vitality by visiting the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.


Are you interested in other historic maritime resources in Pennsylvania? We have information about historic lighthouses and light stations.