Virginia State Parks are inviting families to get the kids out of the house on May 15 for some fun activities. At High Bridge Trail State Park kids can choose from several different bicycling activities, fishing, or geocaching. Take the Hike, Bike or Ride Challenge at Powhatan State Park and you’ll be eligible for a prize when you fill out your bingo board. Mason Neck State Park in Lorton, Virginia has a full day planned for kids including, Going In-Seine, Geocaching Adventure, Makin’ Tracks, and Owl Buddies. Visit the Virginia State Parks Kids to Parks Day Events page for state-wide park activities.
The brand-new exhibit, Our Changing Waterfront, allows visitors to the Annapolis Maritime Museum to experience the Bay and local history through the interactive and immersive exhibit displays. The re-imagined exhibits – costing nearly $1,000,000 – include two 500 gallon aquariums, a touch screen table game that features oyster harvesting methods, and a virtual reality boat where visitors can join a race mid-stream, jump onto a contemporary oyster boat, and slip across the Bay in a kayak. Watch the Our Changing Waterfront video tour.
Paddlers! The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership has put together the perfect summer event combo: Kayak on the river in the morning and watch the best of international paddling films in the afternoon – you can choose either one or do both. Part 1 begins at Milton State Park, where participants will launch into the West Branch Susquehanna River and float a few miles down to Lewisburg, enjoying the ecology and wildlife of the river along the way. After a light lunch, part 2 of Float & Films begins at the Lewisburg Campus Theatre where you can watch worldwide paddling films from the 2020 World Tour Paddling Film Festival. August 8, Milton and Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. More info and tickets.
The Marvelous Mutts are returning to Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum with three action-packed shows filled with energetic pups and amazing stunts. The Marvelous Mutts is a traveling high-energy dog show that has amazed audiences across the country, even boasting appearances on Good Morning America, ESPN, and The Late Show. Free, but registration is required; tickets are available for 11:30, 1:30 and 3:00 on June 6. More info and tickets.
Enjoy a virtual walk with one of the most famous naturalists in our region. Alonso Abugattas, the Capital Naturalist, will take us on a virtual wildflower walk, and teach us about the folklore and natural history of many of our later blooming wildflowers. Summer is almost here, but there will still be plenty of blooms to see. Enjoy learning about their natural history, folklore, and ethnobotanical uses. $15 for nonmembers of the Audubon Naturalist Society. May 19, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. More information and registration.
Join Horticulturist Stephen Biela of Norfolk Botanical Gardens for an online Zoom presentation on honey bees. Explore the inner workings of a honey bee colony, learn what the queen really does, and the roles of drones and workers. $10; May 13, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. More information and registration.
Join Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum for a discussion of regenerative agriculture as a sustainable way to feed the world and bring health and balance back to Earth and all sentient beings. Through her studies, Anna Chaney, a 13th generation native of southern Anne Arundel County, has learned that health begins in the soil and that truly nourishing food requires bio-complete, living soil. The talk is free and will be held in the pavilion. May 20, 7:00 pm; Jefferson Patterson Park, Solomons, Maryland. More info.
The crops of corn, beans, and squash are known as the Three Sisters. For centuries, these three crops have been the center of American Indian agriculture and cooking traditions. According to, “It is for good reason, as these three crops complement each other in the garden as well as nutritionally.” Norfolk Botanical Garden is hosting an online workshop on The 3 Sisters: The History and Practice of Indigenous Agriculture, exploring the myths and science behind the traditional three sisters garden, and how to create one at home. $10; presented on the Zoom platform. May 20, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. More information and registration.
Feature of the Week
An example of a “wedding cake” waterfall, formed when water falls over thick sandstone, descending in a series of steps. Photo by Saki
21 Waterfalls in One Park!
An approximately four-mile route through Ricketts Glen State Park, a.k.a. the Falls Trail Loop, leads to 21 named waterfalls. Per hiker Saki, “In all my years of hiking in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I have yet to find a place that packs as much natural beauty into an area as does the Glens Natural Area in Ricketts Glen State Park.” Read more about Saki’s hike of the Falls Trail Loop and enjoy a sampling waterfall gallery in The Waterfalls of Ricketts Glen.

Featured Tips
Free Fishing Days!
Virginia's Free Fishing Days are coming June 4-6, so maybe it would be a good time to play hooky and go for landing that big one. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources wants you to take advantage of the free fishing days in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including Virginia State Parks. Read more about free fishing days, with suggestions for where to find a variety of different types of fishing, including big and small lake fishing, downriver fishing, tidal river fishing, trout fishing, and Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean fishing.

Maryland, Too!
Maryland's Free Fishing Days for 2021 will be June 5, June 12, and July 4. 

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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