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The COVID-19 outbreak is evolving across the Chesapeake watershed. Chesapeake Gateways sites and events are managed at the discretion of individual locations and event organizers. Please contact local sites and organizers in advance for any potential schedule changes or closures. The health and safety of residents, visitors, staff, volunteers, and partners is our top priority.
Every Chesapeake Explorer needs a good guide to get started. With these maps and guides, you’ll be on your way to a great adventure on the water in no time! Download the Boater’s Guide below to begin your journey on the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail. Or check out dozens of other guides to water trails around the Eastern Shore and on rivers like the Anacostia, James, Susquehanna, and more.
Now you can explore the Chesapeake Bay as Captain John Smith did it—by boat. But you’ll have the advantage of an expert guide who has “hindsight.” Let John Page Williams take you on a journey along the waterways traveled by Smith and discover the special places Smith described and how remarkably the same—or different—these places are today.
A Boater’s Guide to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is for boaters of all types of vessels and all skill levels. Whether you paddle, sail, or motor, whether you are a novice or a veteran boater, you’ll find the information you need to follow in Smith’s wake along the main stem of the Bay and all the rivers he traveled.
Even non-boaters will enjoy John Page Williams’s engaging way of weaving history, geography, and practical information for seeing the Chesapeake Bay in a new way. The Boater’s Guide is also loaded with links to take you to trail access points and resources where you can learn even more.