"The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network connects you with the Bay's special places through a system of parks, refuges, museums, historic communities, and water trails. Managed by many different partners, these sites each tell a part of the Bay story. Together, as the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, they provide a way for experiencing and understanding the Bay as a whole.
Helping people understand and appreciate the Chesapeake Bay through this Network of special places is more than just tourism. Every person who lives, works or visits the region affects the Bay. Linking the places people value to an understanding of the Bay as a system is an integral part of the effort to conserve and restore the Bay's natural environment. Changing how people perceive the Bay by interpreting its resources is a meaningful step toward creating a broader commitment to Bay restoration and conservation. This is a fundamental aspect of the Gateways Network vision."
This is the primary source for locating water trails and guides within the Chesapeake watershed.
NATIONAL WATER TRAILS
Captain John Smith National Historical Trail - "Imagine a world of deep, ancient forests, strong, proud people and water teeming with life. Such was the Chesapeake that Captain John Smith and his fellow travelers encountered on their journeys through this “goodly bay” and its rivers. Follow in the wake of Smith's journeys on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, America's first national water trail."
MARYLAND WATER TRAILS
These sites highlight some trails that can be found in the Chesapeake Gateways information above.
Maryland's State Forests and Parks offer paddling opportunities for canoeists and kayakers of all skill levels - from flatwater excursions for novice paddlers, to guided birdwatching, historical and cultural adventures along intricate waterways.
Trail Guides can be purchased from this site.
PENNSYLVANIA WATER TRAILS
|These trails are in the Delaware River watershed and are not covered in the Chesapeake Gateway site. Other Pennsylvania trails are.|
Tidal Delaware River Water Trail. Experience Southeastern Pennsylvania from a unique perspective – the water! The Tidal Delaware Water Trail is a path that has been checked and mapped – similar to a land trail, only on water. It guides motor boaters, paddlers and sailors to environmental, historical, and cultural experiences accessible by river.
Delaware River Water Trail & Delaware River Heritage Trail - Stretching from the headwaters of the Delaware from Hancock, NY to the head of tide in Trenton, NJ/Morrisville, PA, DRGP works to establish facilities, safe river use and access, and information on the river and its communities.
VIRGINIA WATER TRAILS
This trail is on the Atlantic side of the Virginia Eastern shore and is not in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Other Virginia trails are.
Seaside Water Trail - The Seaside Water Trail runs between the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge at Cape Charles and Chincoteague Island. Additional trail segments go through Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and connect to Assateague National Seashore and the Assateague Canoe Trail. The Seaside Water Trail branches off at Chincoteague Island and ends at the Village of Greenbackville near the Virginia/Maryland state line.
Florida Water Trails
Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail - It’s the saltwater version of the Appalachian Trail.
Beginning at Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola, extending around the Florida peninsula and Keys, and ending at Fort Clinch State Park near the Georgia border, the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail is a 1,515-mile sea kayaking paradise. The trail includes every Florida coastal habitat type, from barrier island dune systems to salt marsh to mangroves. Several historical sites and points of interest are accessible by kayak along with colorful fishing communities and urban centers.
American Canoe Association Water Trail Listing