Join Caledonia State Park for a guided hike on the Appalachian Trail north to Hosack Trail, then return on Locust Gap Trail. The entire hike will be seven miles and last three hours. Bring water and snacks. Be sure to wear sturdy footwear. Friendly, well-behaved dogs are welcome. Face masks are required. May 1, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm; Caledonia State Park, Fayetteville, PA. More information.
By 1900, 60% of Pennsylvania’s forests had been cleared and the state had become an industrial powerhouse. But there was a high price to be paid: a scarred landscape and toxic environment. The PBS presentation, Penn’s Woods: Cradle of Conservation follows efforts to bring Penn’s Woods back from the brink of utter environmental devastation and how the state led the entire nation with some of the country’s earliest conservation programs, including the first School of Forestry, helping to shape the national conservation and environmental movements of the twentieth century.
This festival is a great opportunity to celebrate Southern Maryland traditions. Check out antique boats and motors, master maritime carvers, cooking demonstrations, traditional music, toy boat building, and boat rides, offering something for all members of the family! This free event has limited capacity, so preregistration is strongly encouraged. Walk-ins are only available as space allows. May 1, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD. More information and registration.
The City Nature Challenge is an annual community science competition for cities across the globe to find and document the plants and wildlife found in urban areas. Help the Baltimore metropolitan area show the world how biodiverse our region is by making as many observations of as many species as possible between April 30 and May 3, 2021! Join the National Aquarium on May 1 at 11:00 am as they broadcast on the Enoch Pratt Free Library Facebook page live online with a nature scavenger hunt from South Baltimore's Masonville Cove. You'll learn how to explore your own backyard or local green space on a nature scavenger hunt. Learn how to become a community scientist using just your smart phone and a free app to document the plant and animal species that surround you. It can also be watched after the broadcast has ended in the live video library. More info about the Nature Challenge, how to make and upload your first observation, and how to download the iNaturalist app.
Lincoln Memorial, NPS photo
On the eve of Arbor Day, join naturalist and tree expert Melanie Choukas-Bradley on a virtual tour of the trees in our nation’s capital through stunning photographs of the Tidal Basin, U.S. Capitol, White House, National Arboretum, Rock Creek Park, and many other notable locations. Known as the “City of Trees” for more than 100 years, Washington has an arboreal history that is rich and fascinating. Learn about the botanical diversity and heritage of the nation’s capital, and why its tree canopy is such an essential and historic part the city’s life. This is a Smithsonian Association Zoom presentation. $30 for nonmembers. April 29, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm. Registration and more information.
Have you been wanting to go birding at this beautiful national wildlife refuge? Meet a park ranger roving the trails of the refuge and discover what wildlife may be making the Great Marsh their home. Spend some time observing nature. Bring your questions, camera, and binoculars. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols. Free and open to all ages. May 8, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm; Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Lorton, VA. More information.
Gather a few of your garden-loving friends and enjoy this behind-the-scenes tour of the Woodland Garden at Irvine Nature Center with naturalist and master gardener Dr. Clare Walker. Spring is when the woods fill with the fleeting, delicate colors of ephemeral flowers but there are also some that hide their light. During this exclusive garden tour, we will peek under leaves to find these secretive beauties and the unexpected lives they lead. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. The event will take place rain or shine. Masks required. $15 for non-members. May 3, departs every half hour from 11:00 am to 2:40 pm. Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, MD. More information and registration.
This Chesapeake Bay watershed trail passes through eight state parks, five state forests, eight state forest Natural Areas, four state forest Wild Areas, four state forest picnic areas, and two scout camps. At 325 miles long, the trail is known as the “wildest trail in the state.” Hint: the answer can be found in FindYourChesapeake’s latest blog entry. Submit your answer. Note: Find Your Chesapeake watershed places can be found in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, New York, Washington DC, and Virginia.

Black Marsh, North Point State Park, Shannon Davis photo
Though best known for being a critical spot during the War of 1812, last week's quiz site, North Point State Park, is also home to a 350-acre lush marsh containing a variety of wetland grasses, marsh-loving shrubs, and flowers – like the unusual rattlesnake-master and the attractive tickseed sunflower – as well as the marsh-loving mammal, the muskrat.
Feature of the Week
Hiking in Penn's Woods
Hiking is the most popular outdoor activity in Pennsylvania, and it’s no wonder with all of the outstanding opportunities, from short loop hikes on state park trails to long, multi-day options on state forest lands, to family-friendly adventures on one of Pennsylvania’s rail-trails. Pennsylvania has more than 10,000 miles of trails, including 230 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Learn more about PA’s trails here and also read our latest blog, Hikes in the Susquehanna Watershed.


Featured Tips
PA Public Lands Bike Rides
In 2019 the Pennsylvania Environmental Council launched its Public Lands Ride event for a day of exploring gravel roads and mixed surface trails by bicycle. This year they have announced that the 2021 Public Lands Ride will be held October 2 (save the date!) at Black Moshannon State Park. Registration for the event will be available on April 30. In the meantime they’ve provided links with detailed information on six great trails you can do on your own, and stay tuned to the PEC blog and Public Lands Ride Instagram (@pecpubliclandsride) to check out their new routes to be released throughout the spring.



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.


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