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Home > Visit a Gateway > By Theme > Best Gateways For…
Best Gateways For…

The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network has something for everyone - from special parks and museums to historic communities, land and water trails. Each month, the Network highlights some of its sites that offer you a unique look at life on the Chesapeake. These thematic lists can help you explore the Network and experience your Chesapeake.

Exploring Chesapeake Bay Trade & Travel

Explore Your ChesapeakeFor hundreds of years, the Chesapeake has served as a major transportation route—for both traders and travelers. Come visit the following Gateways to learn about the Chesapeake’s transportation and trade history, particularly as it relates to railroads, and discover how the Bay has helped shape the nation’s economy and commerce vitality from colonial times to the 21st century.

Baltimore and Annapolis Trail - Annapolis to Glen Burnie, MD
Among the most visited parks in Maryland, the "B&A Trail" stretches along the route of the old B & A Short Line Railroad, which formerly connected the state’s capitol (Annapolis) with its major port and commercial center (Baltimore). Historic transportation structures such as the electric powerhouses, switch boxes, and the Severna Park Station still stand along the Trail and enhance its appeal for park visitors.

Cape Charles Historic District - Cape Charles, VA
Established in 1884, Cape Charles was built as the railroad’s southern terminus from which steamships carried passengers and freight across the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, Virginia. While many enjoy exploring the railroad history of Cape Charles through walking tours and exhibits in the Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center, the area also offers recreational activities, including fishing, clamming, crabbing, and boating.

Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum - Chesapeake Beach, MD
Although the Depression and the rise of the automobile killed the railroad route that led to this Chesapeake Beach community, the train station survives and is the setting for this museum exploring the resort’s heyday, the rail line that served it and early 20th Century transportation and tourism. Exhibits include photographs of trains and the town, a model train, a diorama of the resort and a surviving kangaroo from the carousel.

Elizabeth River Trail - Atlantic City Spur - Norfolk, VA
Built on an old railroad right-of-way, the Elizabeth River Trail follows a section of Norfolk, Virginia’s waterfront. Cyclists, joggers and walkers gain a new view of harbor activities that demonstrate the importance of the Elizabeth River’s connection to the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

Gunpowder Falls State Park - Kingsville, MD
Follow the Northern Central Railroad Trail at Gunpowder Falls State Park, and discover the 21-mile abandoned railroad bed that the trail follows, extending from Ashland, Maryland to the state line. Along the way, stop at the restored Monkton Trail Station, which now serves as a museum, gift shop and Ranger Station.


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