The Chesapeake Bay may not quite be local, but it is near and dear to many Central Virginians’ hearts. If you spend time on, in or around the Bay and its tributaries, there’s a new free app out that’s worth adding to your collection. Developed by the National Park Service, Chespeake Explorer was “designed to help visitors discover and enjoy fun and inspiring places and activities in the Chesapeake region.”
Chesapeake Explorer aggregates information about national parks, state parks, Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network sites, and sites along three national historic and scenic trails in the watershed. It provides information about the locations, hours, activities and fees of these places. The app’s geo-location feature will identify nearby national parks and trails that suit particular interests, and allows the explorer to tag favorites and log sites visited. The device also sorts locations by activity so someone can easily identify places to see waterfowl, go bicycling, or launch a kayak, and plan trips accordingly.
Chesapeake Explorer can suggest thematic tours to explore, whether by bike, car or on foot, and can build customized tours. It also includes historical information and helps travelers plan their visit along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?