The very best way to experience the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is by water. It is after all the Nation's first water trail.
Long before Captain Smith's explorations of the Chesapeake and its tributaries, Indians used these waterways for fishing and hunting, to trade goods, and to explore new lands. Smith traveled nearly 3,000 miles on the Bay and its rivers, recording and mapping what he saw. Due largely to Smith's descriptions, European settlement followed along these waterways. Traveling these waters today, you can see how the landscape has changed - and where it has changed very little. You can see where history was made and where wildlife and indigenous plants still thrive.
Here are two great ways to explore the Chesapeake's waterways by boat:
- Follow the official Boater's Guide.
- Explore the numerous water trails that are part of Find Your Chesapeake.