Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail

Johnsmithwebbed_copy There are a baker's dozen of national historic trails already in existence, from the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and the Florida National Scenic Trail.


All 13 are landlubbers. The 14th could change that.


Under legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., Congress is being asked to create the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail.

The proposed trail, believe it or not, would range roughly 3,000 miles. Who would've thought Chesapeake Bay was so huge? Sen. Sarbanes, who introduced the legislation earlier this month, wants Congress to act before the end of the session.


"Next year, our nation will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and the beginning of John Smith's momentous explorations of Chesapeake Bay," the senator told his colleagues. "The proposed trail is of great historical importance to all Americans in that it represents the beginning of our nation's story."


The proposed trail would include "talking buoys" that would recount some history to folks traveling the trail by water, while on land there would be markers tracing Capt. Smith's travels and encounters with native Americans.


According to Michael Schultz of the Conservation Fund Chesapeake Conference, Capt. Smith took such detailed notes on his journeys, and had such good help from native Americans, that his maps are impressively accurate.