Basic Information



What is the trail?

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail follows the historic route taken by John Smith and his crew in the summer of 1608. Since this route was sailed by Smith, the trail is water-based, following the Chesapeake's coastlines and tributaries. The trail also commemorates the Indigenous societies living in the Chesapeake in the 1600s, as well as the Bay's natural history. Visitors can engage with the trail by boating and paddling, visiting a trail visitor center or partner location, or participating in various educational and virtual activities.

When is the trail open?

The waterways of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail are open 24/7, 365 days a year. However, individual partner sites and access points located along the 3,000 mile trail have varying operating hours and associated fees.

Specific operating hours and directions will vary based on your destination. Be sure to check the open hours of each site before visiting as our partner locations and access sites have varying hours. Some access points may be closed in winter months, and all access is dependent upon weather conditions.

Where can I visit the trail? What can I do?

To plan your next adventure on the Chesapeake, see Places to Go and Things to Do to discover places to visit and activities to try along the trail. For complete trip itineraries, visit Trip Ideas.

Can I Visit Werowocomoco?

Important Notice: The Werowocomoco archeological site remains closed to the public as planning efforts are ongoing. Learn more about planning efforts.

Where is the trail's headquarters?

Our headquarters at Historic Jamestowne is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except federal holidays. View our calendar for upcoming special events.

Physical address: 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown, VA 23081
Mailing address: P.O. Box 210, Yorktown, VA 23690
Phone: (757) 856-1220

  • A brick building on a hill with an entrance sign
    Places to Go

    Discover places that tell a story.

  • A map of the Chesapeake National Historic Trail with selected locations marked.
    Trail Map

    View a map of the trail route and key sites along the way.

  • Two people carry a kayak towards a boat launch.
    Things To Do

    The trail offers countless ways to enjoy the rivers, marshes, and coastlines of the Chesapeake Bay.

Last updated: March 27, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 210
Yorktown, VA 23690


(757) 856-1220

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