Capt. John Smith Chesapeake Trail featured in new book

“America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History” takes readers on a journey of the nation’s 19 National Historic Trails, including the Chesapeake Trail.

ANNAPOLIS — Chesapeake Conservancy is pleased to announce that its partner — the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail — is featured in a new book released this month by Rizzoli International Publications in association with the Partnership for the National Trails System. Written by Karen Berger and photographed by Bart Smith, “America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History” takes readers on a journey of the nation’s 19 National Historic Trails, including the Chesapeake Trail.

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail) is a 3,000-mile-long water and land trail that highlights the landscapes of the American Indians who lived in the Chesapeake region, the voyages of Captain John Smith and his crew from 1607–1609, and the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Since the trail’s founding in 2006, Chesapeake Conservancy has assisted in increasing public access and protecting the land along it.

The U.S. Congress created the National Trails System in 1968, and since then it has designated 19 National Historic Trails that commemorate routes of historic significance — “varied environments that have played a role in the American narrative” and allow us to experience firsthand “the intersection of story and landscape,” as author Karen Berger writes in the book’s introduction.

These 19 routes span 42 states and 37,000 miles and tell stories of exploration, hardship, triumph, and tragedy. From Hawaii’s Ala Kahakai Trail, to Alaska’s Iditarod, to the Trail of Tears, which encompasses nine states, all the way to our very own Chesapeake Trail, this 320-page book highlights some of the most epic stories in our nation’s history.

Each entry features rich photographs and a detailed description of the history and geography of the route, as well as a list of specific historic and interpretive sites along the trails. In the Chesapeake Trail entry, for example, Historic Jamestowne is called out as a “notable stop.”

“The Chesapeake Conservancy is a leading advocate for the Chesapeake National Historical Trail, and we are thrilled to see the trail portrayed in this gorgeous new book,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said. “At a time when the pandemic has many of us staying close to home or seeking solitary adventures, America’s National Historic Trails provides much-needed opportunity and inspiration for history buffs and nature lovers to be transported to our most nationally significant landscapes and stories.”

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