Trips and Tips

Looking for a fun way to explore the Chesapeake Bay region? Interested in visiting a historic community or a nature preserve or just paddling down a river near your home?

Each week we highlight interesting, unusual and off the beaten path events taking place from the mouth of Bay to the Susquehanna and everywhere in between. Cruises in southern Maryland, hikes in the Shenandoah and festivals in Baltimore, it’s all there and more! Find more ways to explore the Chesapeake watershed at, brought to you in partnership with the National Park Service.

Have an event you want to see included? Email us with the details, [email protected]

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Feature of the Week:Earth Hour: Saturday, March 25 at 8:30 to 9:30 PM Are You In?

Join hundreds of millions of people around the world and turn off your lights for one hour to show your commitment to the planet and our collective fight against climate change. There's never been a more timely and important moment for the world to stand in solidarity for the protection of our planet. To celebrate, you could have a candle-lit dinner, talk to your neighbors, stargaze, go camping, play board games, have a concert, screen an environmental documentary, create or join a community event--the possibilities are endless. Have an event idea? Add or join an event at the all-new interactive map - Earth Hour Tracker. Read more about Earth Hour and sign a pledge to participate at the World Wildlife Fund website. Photo: Regi Fauzi

Tip Of The Week When Will Pickerel Frogs Start Calling? When Will Redbuds, Spicebush and Serviceberry Bloom? Will We See Green Tree Swallows in March?

Check out the "Calendar of Natural Events" on the Chesterfield County, Virginia website and you'll find out. It's a listing, by month, of natural flora and fauna events in our area. Of course this calendar is predicated on yearly weather norms and after this winter and early spring we're not sure there are any "norms" in our region. Does anyone know of any more comprehensive Calendars of Natural Events for our region? Let us know and we'll share.(Phto: Washington DNR)

Forest Explorer

Caledon State Park is home to some of the oldest trees on the East Coast. Take a guided walk through its ancient forests, and become enthralled by some of the majestic trees that make up its old growth forest. Each tree has its own unique story to tell and this is an opportunity to learn them all. The old growth forest and bald eagle habitat qualified Caledon for National Natural Landmark status, a designation of the National Park Service conferred on properties with outstanding biological and geological resources. Free and open to all ages. March 25, 2pm-3:30pm; King George. More information. (Virginia State Parks)

Earth Hour at First Landing

Celebrate the planet we live on, as First Landing State Park participates in this year's Earth Hour. From Antarctica to the International Space Station, join millions of people turning out lights for one hour to focus on all the resources we use on our planet and how we can use them more wisely. Meet an eastern screech owl, go on a night hike to listen for owls and frogs, sit around a campfire, enjoy glow-in-the-dark games and crafts, and learn how we can be better stewards of our natural resources. March 25, 8pm-9:30pm; Virginia Beach. More information. (Photo: Brent Hoard)

Kid's Fishing Day

Don't miss the 4th Annual Kid's Fishing Day at Douthat State Park. And yes, that fish in the above photo was caught at Douthat! A section of Wilson Creek will be marked for kid's fishing. No permit or license is needed. For children ages 15 & under. No fee for the event, however a parking pass is required. Door prizes will be given away to registered participants (registration required). March 25, 8 am-12pm; Millboro. More information. (Phto: Virginia State Parks)

Grand Opening Celebration of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The Grand Opening Celebration of the American Revolution Museum will mark 13 days of festivities. Through indoor gallery exhibits, immersive films and outdoor living history, the American Revolution Museum will offer a truly national perspective, conveying a sense of the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and the richness and complexity of the country's Revolutionary heritage. Musical performances, including military, fife and drum and choral ensembles, will take place each afternoon in one of several museum venues. March 23-April 4, 9am-5pm; Yorktown. More information. (Phto:Vail Marston)

Chippokes Plantation State Park Hike

This easy five mile hike through Chippokes is part of the Dutch Gap Conservation Area's Nature Program. Roam along a cypress swamp, agricultural fields, historical buildings, including the Chippokes Mansion, tidal creeks and the banks of the James River where fossils reveal an ancient ocean. $30. Register for this event no later than March 23. March 30, 9am-5pm; Surry. More info. (Phto: Wirawan Purwanto)

400th Anniversary of the Death of Pocahontas

This event will commemorate the death of Pocahontas in England on March 21, 1617, and will demonstrate the friendship of the colonists and Powhatan Indians preceding her death. Lectures and presentations will focus on Pocahontas' life as a Virginia Indian and English woman. Throughout this special event, guests of Henricus Historical Park will spend time in Mt. Malady, the recreated first English hospital, as interpreters demonstrate the English medical treatment of the time. Native American historians will offer lectures on the history and legacy of Pocahontas. March 25, 10am-5pm; Chester. More info. (Photo: Doug Focht)

28th Massachusetts Camp of Instruction

The 28th Massachusetts Infantry, a famed regiment of the Union Irish Brigade, will hold its annual "camp of instruction" at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park's Chatham Manor. Exercises will include the basic manual of arms, marching in formation, essential maneuvers, and firing. The public is welcome to attend and watch the soldiers at drill. Historic Chatham Manor was built in 1771 and served as headquarters for Union generals and as a major Union field hospital during the Civil War. The event will recall Chatham through the spring and summer of 1862, when Union troops occupied the ground. Free. March 25, 10am-4pm; Fredericksburg. More information. (Photo: Alvin Trusty)

Astronomy for Everyone

Your evening of space exploration begins with a half-hour Ranger-led "Junior Astronomer" program for children ages 5-12. Immediately following the children's program, join volunteer Ambassadors from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab for a half-hour multimedia presentation on the latest in the United States' space research. Then, get yourselves oriented to the celestial skies with a 15-20 minute 'sky tour' by our Volunteer Star Guide. For the remainder of the program take advantage of Sky Meadows' dark skies by looking at deep space objects through telescopes provided by volunteers. Feel free to bring your own scope. March 25, 7:30pm-10:30pm; Delaplane. More information. (Photo

Maryland Day at Historic St. Mary's City

Celebrate Maryland's 383rd anniversary in the city where it all began. Gather on the lawn of the Reconstructed State House of 1676 for the annual ceremony at 1 p.m. The Tribal Chair of the Piscataway Conoy will kick things off, followed by a keynote address by State Senator Stephen M. Waugh. Students from each of the 23 counties in Maryland, and Baltimore City will give a colorful presentation of County Flags. Admission is free in honor of the day. March 25, 10am-4pm; Historic St. Mary's City. More information. (Photo: Thad Zajdowicz)

Maryland Day Weekend at Historic London Town

Special activities include costumed interpreters representing a century of early Maryland History and opportunities for visitors to try their hand at making rope and chopping wood. Kids can even dress up in colonial-style clothing during their visit! At 11:00 am on Saturday, culinary historian Deborah Peterson will discuss seasonal foodways during the colonial period. All activities included with $1 admission all three days! March 24-26, 10am-4:30pm; Edgewater. More info. (Photo: Gwendolyn Stansbury)

Patapsco Trail Connections Open House

Baltimore Metropolitan Council is holding an open house to discuss how trails can be used to link area communities to the Patapsco Valley - for example, linking Patapsco to the BWI Trail. BMC has performed a feasibility study on behalf of area County Recreation & Parks Departments and Maryland Park Service. Join them at the Howard County Public Library Miller Branch to learn more and share your thoughts. March 29, 6:30pm-8:30pm; Ellicott City. More information. (Photo: Nicolas Raymond)

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument Open House

One hundred years ago women from the National Woman's Party picketed the White House--an unprecedented and courageous act. Attend an open house to commemorate this historic anniversary, and to celebrate Women's History Month. Imagine yourself on the picket line as you explore the fifth and final headquarters of the National Woman's Party. See special objects from the collection, exhibits, and the library. Free. March 26, 9am-5pm. More information. (Photo: Peter Roan)