In the early days of July 1863, at the small town of Gettysburg, PA, Union and Confederate armies clashed in one of the great battles of the U.S. Civil War.
As with almost everything else in the region, wildflowers have a short and distinct season. Don't pay attention, and you could miss them. The good news: They're easy to spot if one knows where to look. Highway departments in most states have planted medians with clovers and bluebells, and parks all over the area offer walks among the trillium, Dutchmen's breeches and bluebells.
Visitors find the Northern Neck of Virginia full of intimate landscapes with quiet coves and two-lane roads linking the histories of those who came before: American Indians, founding fathers (and mothers), enslaved peoples and watermen and farmers who, for the last four centuries, have harvested its bounties.
It's a star-spangled season for the Chesapeake Bay region as parks, communities and historic sites present a large slate of festivals and other events to commemorate the War of 1812. Here are some suggestions to get visitors started. Some events are free, while others have fees or require registration. Check with event sponsors for details. There are more 1812 events — and a host of great places to visit — at www.starspangled200.org,
Paddling "rivertops," the flowing streams that give rise to the Bay's grander, tidal rivers, can be an improbably wild and intimate experience. Often, when you go back and pull up where you were on Google Earth, you discover it was an illusory wilderness, only the narrowest of green corridors through surrounding farmland and development.
On just about any Tuesday evening in the winter, 25 to 30 members of the Chesapeake Bay Wooden Boat Builders bend to the age-old task of building or repairing wooden boats. In their new location in the Upper Bay Museum in Northeast, MD, the boat builders offer classes on topics such as working with wood and epoxies, and repairing Old Town canvas canoes.
For more than a century, the Northern Central Railway was the major rail corridor connecting the anthracite coal fields of central Pennsylvania to Baltimore's industrial waterfront.
You know the saying: Give a kid a fish, and maybe he'll eat it. But teach a kid to fish, and he'll want to go out to the water all of the time.
In his poem, "To the Thawing Wind," Robert Frost wrote about the southwest winds that announced the beginning of spring around his snowy New England farm. The snowbanks would steam; the warmth of the sun could be felt through the windows; the white landscape would turn to brown. He concludes the poem by asking the wind to "Scatter poems on the floor; Turn the poet out of door."
Pat Melville spent years employed at the Maryland state archives, where she handled countless reams of historical papers and microfilm. There, the past spoke mostly through the pages of history.
The National Park Service recently catalogued more than 1,100 places in the Chesapeake watershed's six states and the District of Columbia where a person may view the water, swim, launch a boat or fish.
Paddling on the Susquehanna Sojourn is a family affair for the Davis family of Indiana County, PA. But it didn't start that way.