Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT logo features the silhouette of a sailing ship in black against a blue background


Established: December 19, 2006
Managing Nonprofit: Chesapeake Conservancy
Managing Agency: National Park Service


Map of the CJSCNHT showing the course from the southern Chesapeake Bay to Cooperstown, NY.

Map of the CJSCNHT courtesy of NPS.

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (CJSCNHT) serves to commemorate the routes taken by the Englishman for whom the trail was named during his exploratory voyages from 1607-1609. Smith documented hundreds of Native communities along what is now known as the Chesapeake Bay during those excursions and the sites documented on his map now serve as archeological hotspots and sacred places to local Native peoples. Points of interest include the first National Water Trail in the U.S., Werowocomoco, and the Native Lands Park.

Northern Terminus: Cooperstown, New York

Southern Terminus: Suffolk, Virginia

The CJSCNHT begins on land and on the water at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay, moves northward through the Bay and along side trails that follow the James, Potomac, Rappahannock, and Sesquehanna Rivers. The trail cuts through 5 states (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), and Washington D.C.

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