Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail


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 gathered information about this "fruitful and delightsome land." In December 2006 the U.S. Congress designated the routes of Smith's explorations of the Chesapeake as a national historic trail--the first national water trail.

Smith's map and writings influenced exploration and settlement of eastern North America 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 provides opportunities for you to experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay through the routes and places associated with Smith's explorations.

By providing Chesapeake experiences in the context of Smith's 17th-century explorations, the trail will lead to greater awareness of the importance of the Bay and what is needed to restore and sustain this national treasure.

The trail was officially launched on May 12, 2007, as part of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia. Visit this trail website often for the latest information about the national historic trail.




You can not drive to Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. It is a water channel located Chesapeake Bay.