Trips and Tips

Looking for a fun way to explore the Chesapeake Bay region? Interested in visiting a historic community, a nature preserve, or paddling down a river near your home? Megan, host of our “Trips and Tips” series, has the information you’re looking for!

Each week, Megan highlights interesting, unusual and off-the-beaten path events taking place from the mouth of Bay to the Susquehanna and everywhere in between. She’ll tell you about fun things to do around the watershed such as cruises in southern Maryland, hikes in on the Susquehanna, paddles on the Nanticoke, or festivals in Baltimore or Richmond.

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Feature Of The Week: Be On The Lookout for Our New Roving Ranger

The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Conservancy have launched the "Roving Ranger," our new mobile visitor center. The vehicle is the size of a delivery truck and features large, beautiful scenes of the Chesapeake Bay on all sides. The vehicle will appear at Chesapeake Trail locations and at public events and festivals related to the natural and cultural heritage of the Chesapeake Bay. Providing many of the functions of a visitor center, families will be able to collect a National Park passport stamp, pick up a trail brochure and a Junior Ranger hat, participate in an interpretive ranger program, and learn about new experiences on the Chesapeake Trail. Stop by and check us out at Learn to Row Day in Baltimore on June 3 and at Back to the Bay festivities at Mason Neck State Park, June 10.

Marylanders! Learn Or Rediscover Fishing On Free Fishing Days

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites residents to participate in the state's three, free fishing days in 2017: June 3, June 10 and July 4. They provide a unique opportunity to fish the state's waters without obtaining a fishing license, stamp or registration. "Maryland has a wealth of public fishing waters, where anglers can catch anything from cold-water trout and striped bass to tasty white perch and more than 60 other species," Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer said. "Free fishing days are a great way for any Marylander to learn or rediscover the sport." Anglers must adhere to size and catch limits. Convenient fishing spots can be located on the department's free mobile app and the Angler's Access map. There are nearly two dozen License-Free Fishing Areas located throughout the state, where anglers can access prime fishing areas with a free angler registration. Any angler under the age of 16 is not required to have a fishing license. (Photo: Walter Sanford)

Tour Dem Parks, Hon

Registration is now open for this annual bicycle tour of Baltimore's diverse neighborhoods, waterfronts, and parks that takes place June 11. The city's 6,000 acre park system includes trails, green spaces, historic sites, gardens, woods, waterways, and sports facilities of all kinds, offering a growing network of bike ways, trails, and programs for both commuters and recreational bike riders. Don't miss this chance to experience each neighborhood's unique history, culture, and even personality. Followed by an after-ride jazz barbecue. Registration and more information.

Catoctin Mountain Laurel Hike

Discover the magnificent stands of Mountain Laurel located along the ridge line of Catoctin Mountain Park. This program is free and open to the public. Sturdy boots are recommended for the hilly, rocky terrain of this hike. Meet at the Thurmont Vista Parking Area. May 27, 10am-12pm; Thurmont. More Information. (Photo: Diana Norgaard)

Guided Canoe Trip Up Tuckahoe Creek

Join park staff and experience how the Tuckahoe Indians used to travel the Tuckahoe lake and creek! Enjoy the flora and fauna of the flooded woodlands while learning and floating by the history and natural spectacles of Tuckahoe. Be sure to call ahead to reserve a spot! $10 for Adults, $8 for youth 14 and under. May 28, 6pm-7:30pm; Queen Anne. More details. (Photo: Serafin Enriquez)

83rd Running of the Fair Hill Races

The Fair Hill Steeplechase Races bring the people of Cecil County, MD, Chester County, PA and New Castle County, DE and the surrounding area together for a good time and to support a good cause. Pari mutual betting for avid horse players, vendor village for everyone to shop, kids' corner to entertain the kids with face painting, pony rides and more. May 27, 10am-3:30pm; Elkton. Tickets and more details. (Photo: Jessica Cross)

Fort Frederick Get Into Nature Weekend

Bring your family and friends to explore the natural side of Fort Frederick State Park. This annual event features self-guided and staff-led outdoor nature and recreational activities for all interests and ages. Bring your bike, binoculars, kayak/canoe, and camera! Saturday night will feature a special stargazing astronomy program starting at dark. Park entrance fees apply. May 27-28, 10am-4pm; Big Pool. More details. (Photo: Beverly Vealach)

Bike Through History with Gunpowder State Park

The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail - formerly the Northern Central Railroad Trail - is located in northern Baltimore County and extends for nearly 20 miles from Ashland to the Pennsylvania state line. Join Gunpowder State Park's knowledgeable guide to learn about the history of the railroad. Bring your bicycle, helmet, light and water. Events are free with no pre-registration. All rides are shine only. Locations for rides vary by week. May 31, 6:30pm-8:30pm; Cockeysville. More dates and locations.

Delaplane Strawberry Festival

Come to Sky Meadows State Park to enjoy hayrides, old fashioned field games, dancing, music, magic, storytelling, crafts, a petting farm, an antique car show, a bake sale, hikes in the shadow of the Appalachian Trail, face painting, cake-walking, a corn hole tournament, open house tours of Mount Bleak House, a monkey and much more. All for just $25 a car. Pack a picnic or snack on pizza, fresh wraps, hot dogs and other festival fare such as funnel cakes, strawberry shortcakes and sundaes. And be sure to buy a flat of delicious fresh strawberries. May 27, 10am-5pm; Delaplane. More details.

Memorial Day Weekend Activities at Lake Anna

Summer has finally arrived! What better way to enjoy the warmer weather than at your local Virginia State Park? Become a detective by enjoying CSI: Creek Scene Investigation and Insect Detectives. Or become a prospector during Stampmill Sam's Gold Adventure or learn Gold Panning. Come pet a live reptile during Snakes Alive! or discover how to spark a fire safely using primitive technology. There's so much to choose from. May 27-29, 10am-5pm; Spotsylvania. More details.

Aww Shucks, Oysters!

Learn to tend a whole new type of garden - an oyster garden! Discover this easy (and delicious) pastime, and learn how this humble bivalve nourishes our bodies and our tidal waters. This is your chance to get a hands-on, up-close look at oysters and all of the interesting critters that call an oyster garden home. Free and open to all ages. May 28, 1pm-2pm; Lancaster. More info.