John Smith Chesapeake Trail

A trail marker designates a public access point along the Nanticoke

Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew 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 American Indian 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.  The Nanticoke River is one of the waterways designated by Congress as part of the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail.

Come to the Jamboree and discuss with us how you can paddle the historically significant Chicone Creek, location of the native village called “Chicacone” or “Chickawan” and home to 200 warriors and their families long before John Smith’s arrival on this continent.



1 thought on “John Smith Chesapeake Trail

  1. The Nanticoke River is a well-kept secret and a jewel not far from the East-coast metropolitan areas. Pristine, scenic, and mostly breath-taking, a day on the River is a trip back to another time–of native people who relied on the River for their very existence. Explore the NanticokeRiver today and visit Handsell, a place of mystery and serenity.


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