Potomac River Segment Plan

The Potomac is the only river in the country with a claim to portions of three national trails within its geography: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Because of this, the National Park Service, with the Chesapeake Conservancy as a partner, has developed a joint segment plan for all National Trails along the tidal Potomac River. 

Planning along the Potomac River segment of the trail began in early 2013 and has engaged hundreds of stakeholders including trail partners, public land managers, private developers, conservation groups and more, all of whom are invested in the prosperity of the Potomac River. In partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, State of Maryland, District of Columbia, and Potomac Conservancy, the NPS and the Chesapeake Conservancy worked with local stakeholders to identify the resources that are priorities for protection, the focal areas for visitor experiences, and the needs for trail infrastructure.

The National Park Service, the Chesapeake Conservancy, and the many Potomac River Segment Plan partners will now shift their focus to implementing the action items and opportunities highlighted in the plan. 

The plan was recently released in September 2015, and is available for download here. To view individual chapters in high-resolution, view the Potomac River Segment Plan on the National Park Service's website.





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Protected Network of Lands

Through advocacy and action, the Chesapeake Conservancy is working to identify and conserve the region’s hotspots; places that embody the spirit of the Bay and its great rivers and can serve as hubs for further river corridor conservation efforts. Read on and learn about our efforts to protect biodiversity and conserve lands along the Nanticoke River, our initiative to protect the site of Zekiah Fort in Maryland, our work to conserve Point Comfort – home of the historic Fort Monroe and second landing site of Capt. John Smith, and our collaborative efforts to create the Harriet Tubman National Monument.

Public Access Projects

More than 100,000 streams, creeks and rivers thread through the Chesapeake Bay watershed; yet citizens still struggle to find places where they can access these waterways. Significant stretches of shoreline have little or no access, making it difficult to plan trips along water trails and preventing people from accessing waterways in their own backyards. The Conservancy is working hard to create new public access sites to connect people to the Bay and its rivers.

Conservation Innovation

To support the Conservancy’s goals of connecting people with the Chesapeake and developing a network of conservation corridors along the Bay and its tributaries, we are generating new partnerships, products, and processes that allow us to advance conservation efforts and public access while highlighting best practices and novel approaches to conservation in the region. Visit the Innovate section to learn more about our new projects, tools and trainings and how they are helping conservation organizations across the watershed.