See the Bay
See the Bay

The collection of water trails within the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network offers a wide variety of paddling opportunities for boaters, canoeists and kayakers of all skill levels. These trails can be found in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. They include rivers that offer scenic flat-water excursions for novice paddlers to Class IV rapids for those with more advanced skills.

Paddling these trails also offer users the chance to experience a bit of what life was like before the advent of interstate highways or bridges. In pre-Colonial times, Native Americans used these waterways for fishing and hunting, to trade goods, and to explore new lands. As you take the time to explore these water trails, remember that history was made on these rivers and that many others have used them as well.

Paddling Safety
Paddling Safety Paddling the water trails of the Chesapeake Bay region can be an enjoyable and healthly activity, but it is not without risks. It is important to consider boating safety when planning your next paddling excursions.
River Classification
River Classification

Do you know the difference between a Class I water trail and a Class IV water trail? Whether you're new to the sport or a seasoned paddler, knowing the river classification system is important for your safety.

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace When enjoying the outdoors, it is important to remember that we must all do our part to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Learn how you can protect the water trails and the Bay through the Leave No Trace ideal.
Other Boating Opportunities
Other Boating Opportunities Within the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network there are 23 designated water trails. However, many Gateway sites also include self-contained water trails within their park boundaries. Read more about these sites and plan a visit.
Explore Water Trails
Explore Water Trails Each Gateways water trail offers its own unique perspective of the Bay watershed. Enjoy a day out of the water with friends and family or a quiet afternoon . Find out more about our 23 water trails by using our map of Gateways water trails.
Buy a Water Trail Map
Buy a Water Trail Map Think of it. More than 150 major rivers and thousands of streams flow into the Chesapeake Bay. And then there's the 180 mile long Bay itself. How did people get around for centuries? By water. Today you can explore the Bay in the same way, along our growing series of water trails, many of which have detailed maps and guides to assist you in planning an adventure.

Additional Paddling Resources include: American Canoe Association, Pennsylvania Water Trails, Paddling.Net, Professional Paddlers Association, and American Whitewater Association.


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Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY