Discover the Susquehanna National Heritage Area from the water. Choose from two guided kayak excursions that depart from Columbia Crossing, Pennsylvania. On the August 22 Power of the River paddle you will learn about natural disasters in the past, how the landscape was created, and why hydroelectric dams thrive here, and other efforts to use the river in innovate ways. On September 12, explore one of the oldest rivers of the world, and discover the natural beauty and wonder of the river and its unique geological features. Each paddle is $25 per person and includes your kayak, paddle, PFD, transportation, and guided tour from Susquehanna National Heritage Area staff. Option of single or tandem kayaks is available. Personal kayaks are not permitted; recommended for intermediate paddlers. August 22 and September 12; Columbia Crossing Park, Columbia, Pennsylvania.
Explore the changing landscape as you go from meadows to forests, discovering different plants, animals, and the importance of these areas for wildlife conservation. Natural Bridge State Park rangers and volunteers will guide a hike on the Blue Ridge Trail, one of many trail systems located at Natural Bridge State Park. Free and open to all ages. July 31, 8:00 am to 10:00 am; Natural Bridge State Park, Natural Bridge, VA. More information.
This is a great opportunity to check out the concrete ships at Kiptopeke State Park. The park’s guided kayak tours utilize their fleet of sit-on-top kayaks, led by certified guides. The program includes a basic introduction to kayaking, as well as a guided kayaking experience from the boat ramp to the concrete fleet. Ages 10+; $15/per person. July 29 and August 5. Kiptopeke State Park, Cape Charles, VA.
This September event always sells out, so here’s your advance notice. Get in a Key West state of mind at this musical celebration put on by the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Groove to the musical sounds of country, steel pan, acoustic guitar, and more, along with MC and Host Radio Margaritaville’s JD Spradlin. Five full hours of music and fun! September 11, 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Annapolis Maritime Museum. More information and tickets.
The Bush River is teeming with double crested cormorants. Join Leight Park guides scanning the water, driftwood, docks and sky for these diving, fishing creatures. Ages 8+, under 13 w/adult; $12 per person. July 31, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. More information and registration. Note: There’s also a Capt. John Smith guided paddle on August 7 with limited spots still available. Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, Abingdon, MD.
Curiously, sea level rise is occurring more rapidly in our corner of the planet – about twice as fast as global averages. The Potomac, a tidal river that flows into the more brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay, has risen 11 inches in the last century, well above the global average, prompting the Potomac Conservancy to produce an in-depth climate series on what our future holds for us and what can be done to prepare. Part 1, Global Versus Local Climate Trends, confronts the tough realities that we face in an ever-warming planet and explores how the climate crisis is uniquely impacting the Potomac River and our communities. Part 2, A River Rising, investigates why the Potomac River region’s waters are rising faster than other waters around the world, and explores the best solutions for mitigating increased flooding and storm surges.
Caledon State Park is a National Natural Landmark known for its old growth forest. Join in for either the Tree ID Hike on July 31 or the Old Growth Forest Hike on August 28. Discover why these tree giants have been left untouched and how old they really are. Caledon is also a summer home to many American bald eagles, so you may have the added bonus of spotting our national bird. The park is offering a guided Eagle Tour on August 8. $3 per person or $8 per family. Caledon State Park, King George, Virginia.
Nearly 70 archaeological sites document a remarkable and varied history that goes back thousands of years at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. Take a special archaeological hike at JPPM to learn about the 9,000 years of human history uncovered by the archaeology carried out in the park. Each hike is three hours and approximately 2.5 miles on various surfaces/elevations. August 6 and 27 at 10:00 am and August 21 at 2:00 pm. $5 per person. More information and registration (required).
Feature of the Week
Exploring Kiptopeke's Concrete Ships
One of the events featured in this week’s newsletter is Kiptopeke State Park’s Kayaking the Ships. If you’d like to learn more about what a paddle out to the 366-foot-long behemoths might entail, paddler/blogger Saki shares his own experience and a bit of history about how these unusual ships came to be and how they got repurposed as a breakwater. The ships may have been the main attraction, but the brown pelicans, dolphin pod, and some very interesting beachcombing add to the allure – oh, and the spectacular sunset provided by the clear views to the west. Read Exploring Kiptopeke’s Concrete Fleet.

Featured Tips
Great Falls Park, Virginia
Happy Birthday, National Park Service!
Celebrate the National Park Service's birthday as entrance fees are waived on August 25! Find a park near you or explore in-park and virtual events hosted by parks across the country. Get tips to recreate responsibly while visiting parks to keep everyone safe and protect America's treasures for future generations. National Parks in our area include Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm, Antietam, Assateague, C&O Canal National Historical Parks, Fort McHenry, Fort Washington, Harpers Ferry, Steamtown National Historic Site, Colonial National Historical Park, Great Falls Park, Prince William Forest Park, and Shenandoah National Park.

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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