Exploring the Chesapeake Bay

A Guide to Indigenous DC

On a recent fall day, I took my toddler to a cemetery. It wasn’t just any graveyard; it was the Congressional Cemetery, home to the final resting places of political envoys through the centuries. It was my recent discovery of the app, Guide to Indigenous DC, that led me here to see the Lummi Nation totem poles, a memorial to all of those who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and to see the graves of the 36 Native American delegates, dignitaries, and advocates who had represented 12 tribal nations in Washington before being laid to rest here.

Before it became the nation’s capital, the Washington, D.C. area was home to more than a dozen Native American tribal nations. The capital city was built upon the ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank (or Anacostan) peoples, with the Piscataway and Pamunkey peoples living nearby. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

A Refuge for Eagles, a Home to Migrating Waterfowl

A curious sound echoed through the woods. I paused for a moment to try to place it, before I realized it was hundreds of honking noises all blending together in a riotous cacophony.

As I walked along the path through the trees, the sound grew louder. Where was it coming from? Finally, through a break in the trees, I spotted hundreds of birds flapping and settling into the water of a tidal marsh.

I came to Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Lorton, Virginia, expecting to find a quiet hiding place for bald eagles. Instead, I found a flock of migratory Canada geese seeking refuge in the water and calling to each other joyously, their voices rising in a chorus of honks, cackles and hisses. The water teemed with rustling feathers and bobbing beaks. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

Rocky Gap State Park: A Peaceful Escape From City Life

Rocky Gap State Park sits near the narrowest part of Maryland’s left shoulder, just south of the Pennsylvania state line. It’s perched on the western edge of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, whose waters flow for hundreds of miles through the state and then out to sea. Sprawled over 3,000 acres, the park is a natural playground for hikers, bikers, swimmers, boaters, campers and others.

Even on Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest times to go camping and have one last hurrah before summer began fading into fall, Rocky Gap felt like a quiet sigh, a loosening of tensed shoulders. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

A Visit to the National Aquarium: Reconnecting to the Water Around Us

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hums with a vibrant energy – musicians strumming songs, office workers enjoying their lunches, tourists snapping photos of the ships in the harbor.

But the star of the show, every time I visit, is the glass-encased building in the center of it all –  the National Aquarium. From the moment I walk through the doors, I’m always immediately transported to a different world, one bursting with aquatic wonders. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

Greenbelt National Park, a Suburban Haven With History

Greenbelt is perhaps best known for its metro stop and its proximity to College Park, MD. But visitors to those two places may not know of the lush park winding through the center of the town – and the fascinating history of both the town and the park. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

A Tour of Manassas: An Unflinching Glimpse of Civil War History

The year is 1861. After the election of Abraham Lincoln, thirteen southern states seceded to form their own nation. On July 21, both sides met in the first battle of the war – dubbed the Battle of Manassas or Bull Run, depending upon which side you were on.

It is hard to imagine the scene, now, in such a bucolic setting, as I survey the soft grass that rolls into verdant hills and extends into forests.The battlefield is now a national park just a few miles from the present-day city of Manassas. But back then, there was only a railroad junction – the meeting of North and South. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

Not Far From DC, Prince William Forest Park Is a Gateway to Nature and History

Just thirty miles south of Washington, DC, Prince William Forest Park is a serene getaway. It’s located conveniently right off of I-95, but turning into its leafy entrance is like driving into another world.

This haven to campers, cyclists, and hikers is an excellent place to bring the kids or a pet to enjoy nature, or to relax on your own. The park, encompassing almost 15,000 acres, is also an excellent place to camp not far from the city, making it a great destination for first-time campers who are wary of traveling far from home. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

Sail Through History With Baltimore’s Historic Ships

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor crackles with life. A jazz band turns pop songs into easy listening tunes as visitors bask in the warm spring breeze off the harbor. And in the center of all this sun-filled fun: the Historic Ships in Baltimore collection. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

Catching a Glimpse of Southern Maryland Traditions at Solomons Maritime Festival

The Wm. B. Tennison glides through the harbor of the Calvert Marine Museum and out toward the Chesapeake Bay. A crisp breeze pushes clouds through the sky, and the mid-afternoon sun glints off the water; passengers on board the boat shade their eyes and wave to those on shore.

Children clutch the metal railing and point toward the horizon, while their parents find secluded spots to settle on the deck and watch birds circle lazily overheard. It’s a perfect day, and a perfect way to celebrate this corner of the Chesapeake. Read more at Find Your Chesapeake.

Categories: Freelance Articles

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