Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

 History and nature intersect in the Chesapeake Bay to create a place with endless potential for discovery. 

Its wonders unfold along its many winding rivers, in deep forest, in lush marshland, along scenic shorelines, and on open water.  The Captain Johns Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail provides opportunities to explore and learn about the extraordinary Chesapeake. 

Captain John Smith

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 mapped and documented nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and its rivers.  Along the way they visited many thriving Native American communities and gather information about this “fruitful and delightsome land.”

Smith’s map and writings influences exploration and settlement of eastern North American for many generations, and they are a remarkable record of the native cultures and the natural environment of the 17th-century Chesapeake.  The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail lets you experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay through the routes and places associated with Smith’s explorations.

The following locations in Southern Maryland are part of the trail.

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