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.
Join the Sierra Club for a leisurely and informative walk of up to five miles in the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The outing will wind through a mildly hilly landscape of woodlands, fields, and history. Highlights will include exotic trees, river views, U.S. Capitol leftovers, shady places, and colorful plants, birds, and people. You won’t have to go the whole way – easy-to-follow shortcuts will be available. Attendees are invited to make a voluntary cash contribution of $2/person to help defray club expenses. Club membership is not required. Sept. 18, 9:00 am. U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC. More information and registration.
Defenders' Day commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the nation's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." This event is celebrated at Fort McHenry in Baltimore every year since the Brits sailed away in 1814! This year's program will include the Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps, living history, the U.S. Army Old Guard, U.S. Army Drill Team, and evening luminaries. This year's event will not have fireworks, but instead experience evening luminaries lighting up the fort and grounds for a rare nighttime display! Sept. 18, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Fort McHenry. More information and complete schedule.

On Friday, Sept. 17 there will be a procession at 6:30 pm: the Fort McHenry Guard, representing the Defenders of 1814 in uniforms of the War of 1812, lead by the Fifes & Drums of Fort McHenry, a group of National Park Service Rangers in their distinctive “gray & green” uniforms. The National Park Trust mascot Buddy Bison will parade a replica of the big “Star-Spangled Banner” flag. Local residents and visitors are invited to “find their park” by cheering the procession and waving flags as they walk Hull Street to Fort Avenue and end at Fort McHenry’s gate.
Enjoy a relaxing tube float on the Shenandoah River and learn about the flora and fauna of the region. The day begins with a wagon ride to the launching point. Please wear closed-toed shoes and recreational clothing. Children must be accompanied by an adult and be at least 8 years of age to participate. Visitors must sign up no later than 4 p.m. the day before the trip and prepay at the Visitor Center or call 540-622-6840 in advance to reserve a spot. $5 per person payable with registration. Sept. 19, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Shenandoah River State Park, Bentonville, VA. More information.
Celebrate fall at the 13th annual fall festival at Marshy Point Nature Center in Baltimore. Enjoy live music, animal talks, hay rides, apple cider pressing, food, and more! Canoe and boat trips will be available, too (weather and tide permitting). Event is rain or shine. Free parking and admission. Sept. 25, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Marshy Point Nature Center, Baltimore. More information.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Public Lands' rides seek to celebrate and showcase the wealth of public parks and forests across the state, bringing awareness to public lands as an invaluable resource for us to protect and enjoy. This year, the council is promoting both an in-person event at Black Moshannon State Park, and the release of six new routes in different state forests which you can ride at any time on your own. The in-person ride will be based out of the beach area at Black Moshannon State Park, with three different route options — 25, 45 and 65 miles on mostly gravel roads with a few sections of grassy doubletrack mixed in. Oct. 2, Black Moshannon State Park, Philipsburg. More information on both the in-person and additional routes and registration for the Oct. 2 ride.
Commemorate International Underground Railroad Month at Riversdale House Museum as you discover the stories of Riversdale's enslaved families and individuals. Explore this Network to Freedom site with self-guided tours, a Kitchen Guild demonstration, and a family-friendly exploration station. If you visit Riversdale on October 2, Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, admission is free and you can print your ticket here. The For the Love of Freedom and Liberty: Riversdale & The Underground Railroad free event takes place on Sept. 18 and 19, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Riversdale House Museum, Riverdale Park, MD. More information.
Join the Audubon Naturalist Society for a teaching walk at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in Northern Virginia. The walk will be mostly level and aimed at beginning to mid-level birders, but all are welcome. Over 250 species of birds have been seen at this park, and recent eBird sightings include mallards, mourning doves, Caspian terns, great egret, bald eagle, and red-shouldered hawks. Sept. 25, 7:30 am to 10:00 am; Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Alexandria, VA. More information and registration.
Feature of the Week
A view of the Nanticoke River and its wetlands. Photo by Matt Rath, Chesapeake Bay Program.
Discover the Nanticoke
The Nanticoke River travels through marshland, forests, and farmland on its 64-mile journey from southern Delaware to Tangier Sound in Maryland. The river’s watershed is one of the most biologically diverse in the Delmarva, with loblolly pine, Atlantic white cedar, white oak, eagles, wild rice, perch, pickerel, catfish, largemouth bass, bluefish, blue crab, and rockfish. It has played an important role in commerce throughout its history, providing a critical route for early American Indians, and European settlers. Naturalist/writer John Page Williams’ article Exploring the Nanticoke from Vienna to Seaford, is a journey of discovery, and, more importantly, an invitation to ply its waters in your boat of choice.

Featured Tips
When and Where To Catch the Fall Bird Migration
There is no bad season for birding on the Chesapeake, but fall is fantastic if you are into a wide variety of migrating birds. Avid birder/blogger Melanie Lynch has some tips for fall birding, like when certain species either pass through our area or come to winter, and how birds will move in large numbers following low-pressure systems that provide the most favorable winds. Looking for some great places to do your fall migration birding? From Gifford-Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania to Kiptopeke State Park in southern Virginia check out these can’t-miss destinations for fall birding.

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.
Connect with us on social media
Open the link above and use it to
forward to a friend!