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Captain John Smith Geotrail - GeoTour

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Captain John Smith Geotrail



With the success of the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the National Park Service and the Maryland Geocaching Society are pleased to announce the Captain John Smith Geotrail!


The new trail will launch on Saturday, June 4, 2011. We will host a special and exciting kick-off event (listing to be published soon) on the property of the Accokeek Foundation, National Colonial Farm.


Be sure to save the date and we hope you all will join us for this exciting event! Stay tuned for more details!


Here is a little taste of what you will discover along the Captain John Smith Geotrail......


Are you ready to follow in the wake of Captain John Smith? Visit sites along the National Historic Trail and learn about the native cultures and the natural environment of the 17th-century Chesapeake through the Captain John Smith Chesapeake Geotrail. The Trail provides opportunities for you to experience the Bay through the routes and places associated with Smith’s explorations. Caches will be located in museums, refuges, parks, and towns in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware along the rivers and creeks that Smith and his crew explored four centuries ago.


Over four hundred years ago, Englishman John Smith and a small crew set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith mapped and documented nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and its rivers. Along the way he visited many thriving American Indians communities and gathered information about this “fruitful and delightsome land.” In December 2006 the U.S. Congress designated the routes of Smith’s explorations of the Chesapeake as a national historic trail—the first national water trail.


Additional Resources:

National Park Service

Smith Trail.net


Trail updates will be posted on the Maryland Geocaching Society website. Click here: MGS

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The event page is now published GC2F414


I am pleased to announce that we will have some great door prizes for the CJS Kick-off event.

Everyone who attends the event will get one ticket into our free drawing!


We would like to send a big thanks to Groundspeak and Oakcoins for donating geo-goodies, and to the fine folks at Magellan who said they will be sending us a GPS to giveaway in our door prize drawing!


There will also be exhibit and display booths from the various parks and historic sites along the CJS trail. The Maryland Geocaching Society and Northern Virginia Geocaching Organizations will also have an exhibit and will be giving geocaching demonstrations for new folks. And of course, we will have several new caches in place, including CJS trail hides, for this event!


We certainly hope that everyone will be able to join us for this special event!

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On Friday, a beautiful banner ad for the Captain John Smith Geotrail began running Geocaching.com.



The ad will click through to the official website for the trail. http://www.smithtrail.net/things-to-do/geocaching.aspx


Beginning next week you will be able to learn more about the trail through the site. But to give you a sneak peak….


The Captain John Smith Geotrail will highlight the explorations of Capt. Smith and his travels on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary’s. The trail will have over 40 caches within Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. The trail will focus on 5 rivers; the Susquehanna, Potomac, Nanticoke, Rappahannock, and James (including the Chickahominy branch).


Cachers will be required to find, log and post a pic at 15 CJS caches to earn the coin.


Come show your support to the National Park Service and join us for the kick-off event on Saturday, June 4 at the National Colonial Farm GC2F414. We will have printed copies of the passport, a list of CJS caches and a chance to win some nice door prizes!


The National Park Service has gone the extra mile by preparing a history write-up for every cache location and for obtaining permission to place caches at untouched/uncached locations. Each cache page will include a special history piece to give cachers an idea of what they will discover at the cache site. I have to admit, I have learned a great deal working on this project and am amazed by the history. Truly fascinating!


Below is a sample of some wonderful history you will discover along the Captain John Smith Geotrail! Enjoy.


A recently unveiled wayside exhibit interprets the connection between the river, the Chickahominy tribe, and the English colonists. The Chickahominy were powerful enough to remain independent of Powhatan’s paramount chieftaincy until after the arrival of the English. The cypress trees in the swamps provided lightweight, rot-resistant wood for dugout canoes. They skillfully harvested plants such as wild rice as well as fish, birds and mammals from the “breadbasket” marshes in the river’s many meanders, as well as hunting and gathering on land, to supplement their agricultural production of corn, beans, squash, melons, tobacco, and other crops. They traded corn with John Smith when he sought to keep the colonists from starvation, contributing to the survival of the Jamestown colony and later taught the colonists some of their agricultural practices.


As the settlers began to prosper and expand their settlements, the Chickahominy were crowded out of their homeland. In the treaty of 1646, the tribe was granted reservation land in the Pamunkey Neck area of Virginia, near where the Mattaponi reservation now exists in King William County. Eventually, the tribe lost its reservation land, and the tribal families began a gradual migration to the area called the Chickahominy Ridge, where they now reside.


Today, the Chickahominy tribe consists of approximately 840 people who live within a five-mile radius of each other and the tribal center. Several hundred more live in other parts of the United States. The tribe was granted official recognition by the state of Virginia in 1983 and has been working towards recognition by the federal government since 1996. Current tribal lands of about 110 acres are in the tribe's traditional territory, present-day Charles City County. The tribal center on the land is the location of an annual Powwow and Fall Festival.

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We are just hours away till the launch of the Captain John Smith Geotrail!


The event starts at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning GC2F414 and over 40 caches throughout MD, DE and VA will publish a bit later.


You can download a copy of the passport from the project website: SmithTrail.net


Also, be sure to carry your camera along the Capt. John Smith Geotrail! The NPS & Chesapeake Conservancy will be having a photo contest with some nice prizes! Visit Smithtrail.net for all of the details.



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We are just hours away till the launch of the Captain John Smith Geotrail!


The event starts at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning GC2F414 and over 40 caches throughout MD, DE and VA will publish a bit later.


You can download a copy of the passport from the project website: SmithTrail.net


Also, be sure to carry your camera along the Capt. John Smith Geotrail! The NPS & Chesapeake Conservancy will be having a photo contest with some nice prizes! Visit Smithtrail.net for all of the details.




I know I could wait 'til tomorrow but I'm going to (northeastern) Maryland tomorrow early. Should I bring my kayak?


Or are there no hydrocaches in this series?

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After downloading the caches on Saturday to GSAK I went to do the CJS caches on the Susquenanna, Port Deposit and Elk Neck on Monday morning. This morning, Thursday I see a Port deposit 2 and and Elk Neck 2, which was not published until yesterday the 8th, whats up with that? Also at the kick off Saturday I heard people talking about already finding some of the caches. They were suppose to be released at the EVENT. PLEASE correct me if I am wrong. I cant imagine publishing a CAM cache 2 days after the start !

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Hi Rookie49,


We hope you are enjoying the Capt. John Smith trail!

As you can imagine with a project of this size, getting park approvals, etc... can sometime take a bit of time. Therefore, not all the caches were ready on June 4th. Plus, the Chesapeake Conservancy and NPS hope to continue to add caches along other rivers later this summer/fall, and expand the water trail component. So, be on the lookout for more caches throughout the summer and fall.


To earn the coin, cachers need to find, log and post a pic at 15 CJS locations. Given the current economy and gas prices, we lowered the number to 15 since the rivers are spaced a good distance apart. We wanted the trail to be do'able As it stands right now, cachers can visit two rivers to obtain the 15 required caches. Hope this helps.


Happy caching!

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Yes It does and thank you for the info. I love these series caches. I was the first to finish the Ranger series and I did the SBB also and of course the CAMs are great, Again thanks to everyone who put this together.

Not to sound ignorant, but what are the Ranger, SBB and CAM series? My acronym skills aren't working right now.

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Within Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic, we have several Geotrails currently underway. These include:

Star-Spangled Banner (SSB) Geotrail. A National Park Service and Chesapeake Conservancy initiative. The Capt. John Smith Geotrail is a follow-up to the SSB.


SSB Geocaching Account Profile

SSB Passport & Trail Information.


The Park Ranger Challenge is the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Ranger Challenge.

M-NCPPC Ranger Challenge


M-NCPPC Ranger Passport Information.


CAM refers to the Maryland Geocaching Society (MGS) Cache Across Maryland (CAM) event/challenge that is held each spring.

You can read more about CAM and all of the Geotrails on the MGS site Here


Hope this helps!

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Great trail. We happened to notice it when we were planning a trip to Maryland. We did not think we would be able to get 15 caches but thought each site looked worth visiting anyway. It turns out we were able to pick up 16 CJS caches. We visited amazing places and learned quite a bit. What a great series and a beautiful coin too! Thanks to all who helped put it together.

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Join us on Saturday April 14th in Onancock, VA for the expansion of the Capt. John Smith Geotrail! http://coord.info/GC2F41Q


We are pleased to announce that we will have exhibits from the National Park Service, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Maryland Geocaching Society, Magellan, National Wildlife Refuge, and much more!


The day will be filled with great geocaching and we are happy to announce that we will have 11 new CJS hides and local cachers are placing bonus hides for everyone to enjoy. The expansion of the CJS Geotrail will take you to beautiful locations, rich in history, along the MD & VA Eastern shore. There will be four CJS hides in MD and seven in VA.


Many of the facilities have donated items for our door prize giveaway including the Barrier Island Center which has graciously donated a beautiful Wayne Fulcher wildlife painting valued at over $125.00! Our fine friends at Groundspeak & Magellan have also donated some great items! Everyone who attends the event will be given 1 ticket into our door prize giveaway. Also, the first 50 people who sign the log will be given a special Eastern Shore of Virginia pathtag donated by Banshee74.


We hope everyone will be able to join us on the 14th for the special event!




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Is there a souvenir for this series? Would love to add it to my profile page - it was quite an accomplishment. We planned a holiday specifically to do this and the SSB trail. Spent all of September and also did the Great Lakes Seaway Trail - all were fantastic series. And what a great

way to bring tourists into the area - we toured for one month ate out all our meals and stayed in hotels for 30 nights (plus a few casino visits :).

Looking for more like this.

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