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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 Stewardship

Explore Your ChesapeakeIn the spirit of keeping America beautiful, visit one of these Gateways to learn about the conservation and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay. These Gateways, in addition to offering a diversity of engaging activities, exemplify the spirit of stewardship by working to preserve the Bay’s history, habitats, and wildlife.

Adkins Arboretum - Ridgely, MD
Adkins Arboretum allows visitors to explore the environment of an upstream Bay tributary on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Arboretum is dedicated to the protection of the Delmarva Peninsula’s natural heritage, the conservation of the region’s indigenous flora and the preservation of open space and habitat for wildlife.

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp - Prince Frederick, MD
This 100-acre nature sanctuary, located in Prince Frederick, Maryland, was acquired by The Nature Conservancy in 1957 to protect the primeval beauty of this cypress swamp. The Battle Creek cypress stand, unusual this far north, is presumed to have established itself sometime in the last 10,000 years. Walk along the quarter-mile boardwalk trail to listen to nature’s harmony of calling frogs and songbirds, and with quiet patience you may even catch a glimpse of some of the abundant life supported by this wetland.

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge - Near Cape Charles, VA
Dedicated to conservation and restoration, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Natural Wildlife Preserve, part of the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, is a crucial stopover along avian migratory paths. With a diversity of habitats and species to see, visitors witness an excellent example of Bay stewardship.

Hoffler Creek Wildife Preserve - Portsmouth, VA
The Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, located in Portsmouth, Virginia, provides food and cover for an unusually diverse population of wildlife, including deer, fox, river otters, crabs, oysters, and hundreds of birds. Interpretive trails winding through the preserve introduce visitors to the ecological, economic, and social value of the wildlife living at the mouth of the historic James River and Chesapeake Bay.

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge - Lorton, VA
Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge was specifically created to protect essential bald eagle nesting, feeding, and roosting habitats along the Potomac River. Along with active eagle nesting, the refuge hosts a rookery containing more than 1,200 nests for great blue herons. Visitors can view the refuge along two trails, one through woods and one in Great Marsh.


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