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.
Meet at the park visitor center and ride the park shuttle to the lower town. From there take a guided walk along the Shenandoah on Virginius Island before climbing a little piece of the Appalachian Trail on the flank of Camp Hill. Enjoy wintertime expansive and rocky views and possibly some wildlife. There will also be some history along the way: ruins of mills that once bustled along the Shenandoah, Jefferson Rock, and Robert Harper’s house. The walk will end in the town business district, where you may opt to join in for lunch and refreshments. This is a 2.5-mile, moderate hike on earthen trails, mainly flat, but with short, steep climbs. $10 donation per person; registration required. Dec. 4 and 11, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, WVA. More information and registration.
Join floral designer, and Adkins Arboretum docent Nancy Beatty to create an elegant centerpiece to grace your holiday table. Please bring a container and hand clippers. All other materials will be provided. Dec. 4, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD. More information and registration.
This Black Friday, rather than shopping you can opt to enjoy the outdoors at the Irvine Nature Center. To inspire your day, Irvine will be hosting two naturalist-led events. There will be an Adult Nature Hike, on which you can enjoy the changing seasons, learn the history of the land and its biodiversity. Nov. 26, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; $5 per person. Or, you can take a family-friendly hike to hunt for signs of the many mammals that call Irvine home. Nov. 26, 1:30 to 3:00 pm; $5/person or $20/family. Nov. 26, Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, MD. More information and registration.
Let's #OptOutside y hike juntos in a local green gem—the Patapsco Valley State Park. This is a 4-mile social walk with some hills. This will be a 4-mile walk on maintained paths, with some inclines, slopes, and rocks. This is a social hike; simply walk and hang out, and take breaks as needed by the group. Nov. 27, 8:00 am to 10:30 am; Patapsco Valley State Park, McKeldin Area, Marriottsville, MD. More information and map.
Join Stratford Hall for a virtual program featuring a short lecture, a cooking demonstration, and a discussion led by Director of Collections & Visitor Engagement, Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, joined by YouTube star Cheyney McKnight, historian/interpreter Nicole Moore, and commentary from historian Ramin Ganeshram. This program will demonstrate historical chocolate recipes and discuss how chocolate made its way into contemporary African American cuisine. Free; registration required. Dec. 7, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. More information and registration.
Just in time for the holidays, create a modern wreath design with fresh evergreens on a metal hoop. Using a method similar to floral arrangement, combine local textures, shapes, and colors in your design. Many styles of wreaths and even garlands are possible with the wiring techniques covered in class. Open to beginners, or to students with more floral-design experience. This is a 1.5-hour Smithsonian Associates Zoom presentation, with instructor Arrin Sutliff. $45 for nonmembers. Dec. 8, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. More information and registration.
Join Seven Bends State Park guides for a Forest Therapy Walk and experience the health and wellness benefits of Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese practice of “forest bathing.” Your experience will include a two-hour walk that will typically be less than a mile in length, responding to different invitations to experience aspects of the natural world. The benefits include boosted immunity, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, improved attention and mood, and hitting the reset button on life. This program is reserved for ages 15 and up. Included with regular parking or admission fees. Nov. 27, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Seven Bends State Park, Woodstock, VA. More information.
Maryland's smallest owl, the northern saw-whet owl, weighs less than a bar of soap, yet travels thousands of miles over its lifetime! Join Maryland Naturalist, Melissa Boyle Acuti, coordinator of the Project Owlnet at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, for a look into the lives of these tiny travelers as they pass through Maryland during their annual migrations. An Audubon Naturalist Society Zoom presentation. $15 for nonmembers. Nov. 30, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. More information and registration. 

Take a listen to the amazing varieties of calls this small owl makes.
Feature of the Week
The Mountainous Wildlands of the American West?
That’s the question blogger Julie Dieguez asked herself when she got her first glimpse of the soaring cliffs of Seneca Rocks. Spruce Knob – Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area  is located in Monongahela National Forest found in east-central West Virginia. Due to the hardness of the Tuscarora sandstone formation, Seneca Rocks offers rock climbers a unique opportunity found nowhere else in the East. Though seemingly daunting, Seneca Rocks has a variety of climbs that range from first-timer friendly to expert. For non-climbers, the Seneca Rocks Trail (rated moderate) gains over 800’ on its way to an observation platform with a gorgeous view of the rock faces. Read Exploring the Soaring Cliffs of Seneca Rocks.


Featured Tips
This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to the holiday season and gatherings with family and friends. To complement the traditional dishes you usually serve, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has created their online cookbook, Wild Maryland. The cookbook includes recipes with ingredients that can be hunted, trapped, caught, or foraged in Maryland’s outdoors – like snakehead etouffee. Wild Maryland also showcases life in the Chesapeake Bay watershed through recipes that can be shared and passed down to future generations. You are also encouraged to submit one of your own recipes.

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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