Chesapeake Bay Journeys

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 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!

Aerial of the peninsula of Werowocomoco


Werowocomoco's discovery was confirmed more than 400 years after the Indian leader Powhatan first interacted with people from Jamestown.

Front sign at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage with people around it.

Native Lands Park

A main contact station for the Trail, the Zimmerman Center for Heritage is at the base of a trail that leads up to Native Lands Park.

Two egrets in a marsh.

Virtual Visits

Can't come to the trail in person? Explore photos, videos, and wildlife webcams that will transport you to the rivers and shores of the Bay.

A creek surrounded by foliage

Indigenous Cultural Landscapes

Landscapes that are evocative of the natural and cultural resources supporting American Indian lifeways and settlement patterns.

Living Historians recreate an encounter between Smith and American Indians.

Captain John Smith

Captain John Smith's explorations would shape the future of the Chesapeake Bay and the people who already inhabited it.

John Smith's 1612 Bay Map

Mapping the Bay

Mapping of the Chesapeake Bay stretches back more than 450 years. Who made these maps and why? Find out here.

Last updated: March 3, 2021

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 210
Yorktown, VA 23690


(757) 898-3400

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