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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

Office of the Governor, Governor Mark R. Warner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 29, 2005
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Governor Warner announces Captain John Smith James River Trail
Water trail and driving tour will coincide with the 400th anniversary of Jamestown

WASHINGTON - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced the Captain John Smith James River Trail, a newly developed boating and driving trail along the James River that chronicles Smith's explorations of the waterway between 1607 and 1609. The trail was created as part of statewide preparations for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. The Governor made the announcement at the annual executive council meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Program in Washington, D.C.

"As Virginia prepares to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement, it's fitting that we create this trail that traces Captain Smith's first adventures in this country," said Governor Warner. "The trail is an exciting opportunity to experience the James River and the wonders of the Chesapeake Bay just as Smith did. Now, visitors and students can retrace Smith's journeys in a kayak or canoe as well as from a car or a classroom."

Accessible by land or water, the Captain John Smith James River Trail is similar in concept to the state's successful Civil War Trails. It extends from Richmond to Hampton Roads and features 40 points of interest including: the Valentine Museum Richmond History Center, Henricus Historical Park, Flowerdew Hundred Plantation, Smith's Fort Plantation, Chippokes Plantation State Park, Mariners' Museum, Virginia Living Museum, Watermen's Museum, Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Westover Plantation, Shirley Plantation and others. Parks en route include Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, Hog Island Wildlife Management Area, and Chickahominy Riverfront Park.

A similar route along the York River in Virginia is slated for completion in 2006. The new trail puts Virginia at the vanguard of the movement to create a national historic water trail commemorating Smith's exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. The National Park Service is conducting a feasibility study on a Bay-wide trail.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Tourism Corporation developed an interactive Web site and educational poster about the John Smith trail.

Visitors can access historical details about all of the sites, download maps and plan excursions online at www.JohnSmithTrail.org. Trail maps will also be available in the spring from participating sites along the route. Directional and interpretive signage will be developed as funding becomes available.

The poster features educational information that correlates to Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs) for elementary and middle school students. The poster's design incorporates elements of Smith's famous 1612 "Map of Virginia." Copies of the poster are available at no cost for Virginia educators from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation at (804) 692-0903.

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