Things to Do

Where to Canoe Around Washington

Canoe back in time or discover a wildlife sanctuary with these getaways.

Canoe Back in Time

To see what a Chesapeake tributary looked like when John Smith explored the region 400 years ago, book a guided canoe trip of Parkers Creek with the American Chestnut Land Trust. The Calvert County preservation group hosts three-hour tours spring through fall along the unspoiled creek, providing an opportunity to spot bald eagles, kingfishers, and great blue herons. Canoes are provided (or you can bring your own kayak), and the varied terrain ranges from shoreline cliffs to fresh- and saltwater marshes to some of the best-preserved forest tracts on the western shore. Tours are free but fill fast; $15 donation to ACLT suggested; 410-414-3400. 49 miles.

M (Moderate Difficulty) / $ ($35 or less per person)

Discover a Wildlife Sanctuary

Just a dozen miles outside the Beltway, Jug Bay Natural Area, a 2,000-acre wetland preserve along the Patuxent River in Prince George’s County, feels worlds away. You can hike, bike, or drive the area, but the best way to see the dive-bombing ospreys, wading blue herons, and regal egrets—and even the rare American bittern—is to rent a canoe or kayak from the visitors center ($16 for county residents, $20 nonresidents; reservations on weekends are a must). Naturalists also offer guided pontoon rides (free; Sundays 2 to 3 pm) and kayak tours ($20 residents, $24 nonresidents). 301-627-6074. 23 miles.

M (Moderate Difficulty) / $ ($35 or less per person)