A Note About COVID-19 and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.
Trap Pond is home to the northern-most, naturally occurring, stand of bald cypress trees – making for a dazzling autumn display. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the cypress swamp on the park’s guided one-hour pontoon tours or wagon tours. Pontoon tours are $6 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and under and are available (by reservation) Oct. 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 27, 28. The 40-minute wagon tours are free; available Oct. 9, 16 and Nov. 13 and 20. Trap Pond State Park, Laurel, DE. More information.
All aboard for two great train rides that only happen once a year! On the Tails on the Rails train ride you and your four-legged friends get to enjoy an afternoon of exploration and fun, featuring a photo booth with props, a train ride to Carroll Park for a Puppy Playdate and a Yappy Hour with adult beverages and snacks for owners. Oct. 16, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. $20 for nonmembers. More information.

Pumpkin Patch Express. Take a Halloween-decorated train ride out to the B&O's pumpkin patch. After choosing their pumpkin and meeting the horses, kids will take the train back to the B&O, where they can decorate their pumpkins, play carnival games, win prizes, enjoy a fall snack, and more. Oct. 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30. More information and ticket pricing.
Fall is apple festival time and PA’s Little Buffalo State Park is pulling out all the stops to make for a fun family event. See demonstrations of cider squeezing, apple butter boiling, and corn grinding at historic Shoaff’s Mill. Sample freshly squeezed cider, cornbread, ice cream, nachos, jerky, baked goods, and more. Demonstrators include blacksmithing, weaving and wool spinning, and beekeeping. Enjoy your cider and cornbread while listening to live folk music. Oct. 16-17, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm; Little Buffalo State Park, Newport, PA. More information.
Meet up at Henricus Park Visitor Center and head to Windsor Castle Park to hike and go to Smithfield for lunch. Hike almost four miles of trails that wind through meadows, forested areas, and over creeks and marshes. Windsor Castle Park is now included on the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail. This is an easy hike. $25 includes a naturalist, transportation, and admission fees (if required). Nov. 4, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; Henricus Historical Park, Green Bay, VA. More information and registration.
Celebrate the changing of the seasons at the Chippokes State Park Harvest Festival. Enjoy food and craft vendors, tractor drawn hay rides, heritage craft demonstrations, kids' activities and crafts, Jones-Stewart Mansion tours, and much more. Shop the craft and food vendors for a wide variety of selections. See antique harvest equipment in operation (like the peanut picker pictured above) and watch costumed interpreters cook on the hearth in the 1850s brick kitchen. Rain or shine. Admission included in the $7 per vehicle parking fee. Oct. 16, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Chippokes Plantation State Park, Surry, VA. More information.
Learn about the hardiest and easiest to grow fruiting trees, shrubs, and vines. Perennial herbs, all of which can be used ornamentally as well, will also be covered on this Zoom presentation led by Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Director of Horticulture, Les Parks. $10. Oct. 19, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. More information and registration.
Get off the beaten path and enjoy an evening paddle on Pickering Creek! Soak in the sights and sounds by canoe with a friend or family member as the hazy oranges and reds of the sunset dance on the waters of Pickering Creek. Paddles and life jackets will be provided. $10 per person. Oct. 15, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm; Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Easton, MD. More information and registration.
Join a Huntley Meadows naturalist to discover the facts, fiction, and folklore about nature’s only true flying mammal. Naturalists will set the record straight about these incredible, but often-misunderstood animals. The program will start with a presentation followed by a night walk where a special acoustic device will be used to listen for and identify bat calls. The cost is $9 per person. Oct. 16, 6:00 pm; Huntley Meadows, Alexandria, Va. More information and registration.
Feature of the Week
A Uniquely Beautiful Fall Destination
When it comes to fall beauty, the hardwood forests of the Chesapeake Bay watershed are hard to beat, but the wetlands of Trap Pond State Park treat visitors to a visually unique autumn spectacle. That beauty is due in large part to the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress trees in the United States. The park offers a number of ways to experience its flora and fauna: guided pontoon boat tours and wagon tours (see schedule in this newsletter's first event description), or just launching your own canoe or kayak, or enjoy numerous hiking, biking and birding trails. For a beautiful preview of fall at Trap Pond, check out our photo gallery by photojournalist Michael Weiss.

Featured Tips
Rain Barrels For James River Heroes
Rain barrels not only help protect our watershed from runoff, but they could help reduce your water bill. By installing a rain barrel, you can capture stormwater every time it rains and use it to water your plants, garden, and yard. The James River Association is hosting workshops on October 15 in Richmond, Williamsburg, and Madison Heights, where you can pick up your previously-purchased rain barrel drum and learn how to install it at your home. Each workshop is $35 and comes with a 55-gallon drum and rain barrel assembly kit. More information and registration.

Head out on the water and learn firsthand the experiences of Captain John Smith's Voyage on NOAA's Chesapeake Bay interpretive Buoy System. CBIBS provides real time weather and environmental information, as well as a glimpse into living Chesapeake Bay History. You can also download the app for your Android or iPhone from the website. Note: some buoys may be offline with no data currently available.

Take a virtual tour of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail from your computer or mobile device! To help you plan your trip before you go, the Chesapeake Conservancy partnered with Terrain360 to bring you virtual tours of the trail’s great rivers. Sit back and virtually explore the Elk, James (sponsored by the James River Association), Nanticoke, Northeast, Patapsco, Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, Sassafras, Susquehanna, and York rivers. Check out some of the Chesapeake’s special places like Werowocomoco, Fones Cliffs, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Mallows Bay. We hope to eventually bring you a virtual tour of the entire Chesapeake Trail! Explore the Chesapeake's great rivers on our website.

Chesapeake Trips and Tips is a partnership publication of National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways and Chesapeake Conservancy.
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