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Existing Blueways and Water Trails

Here's a map of major existing and proposed water trails in Virginia.

Belle Isle State Park's Deep Creek and Mulberry Creek

Captain John Smith Trail

The U.S. Congress created the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. It is more than 2,300 miles of water trail throughout the bay area. This is the nation's first all-water national historic trail and it commemorates Captain John Smith's 1607-1609 exploration of the Chesapeake Bay (see Map VII-2). The National Park Service manages the trail in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and many other organizations. For more information see the National Park Service John Smith Trail website.

Virginia's existing Captain John Smith's Adventures on the James River was created by the DCR with help from many partners with funding from the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Gateways Program and Jamestown 2007. This water trail incorporates a 40-site boating and auto-tour route in the Oxbow Loop, the Cypress Loop and the Oyster Loop. Virginia Tourism Corp. developed a supporting web site to promote local businesses along the trail at www.johnsmithtrail.org. In addition to the James River trail and the Mattaponi, Pamunkey and York rivers Water Trail, other water trail segments in Virginia would complement plans for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Chickahominy Water Trail: The Tidal River

Dragon Run Trail

Eastern Shore Seaside Water Trail

Upper James Water Trail

James River Heritage Trail Lower James River Trail

King and Queen County Heritage gateways and trails

Lower Mattaponi - Pamunkey River

Mathews Blueways

Occoquan Water Trail

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail - Potomac and Occoquan Water Trails

The National Park Service (NPS) developed the Potomac River Segment Plan to support visitor services along the Lower Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland. Those with action items identified in this plan may compete for federal NPS funding. Partnerships are encouraged to implement these improvements in the next three to five years.

Powhatan Creek Blueway

Rappahannock River Water Trail Rappahannock River Water Trail


Rivanna River Water Trail

Roanoke River Blueway

Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail

Southern Virginia Wild Blueway

York River

York River State Park - Taskinas Creek

Other blueways and water trails

  • Chesapeake Scenic Waterways Northwest River, Pocaty Creek, Southern Branch Elizabeth River, Dismal Swamp Canal Trail,
  • Lower Appomattox River Blueway Appomattox River Canoe Launch to Hopewell Riverside Park
  • Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers water trails to be connected with York River water trails.
  • New River Water Trail
  • Newmarket Creek runs 12-miles through the City of Hampton
  • North River Historic Homes Water Trail
  • Northern Neck Blueway Tour of Monroe Bay and the Waterfront of Colonial Beach, Upper Reaches of Totusky Creek, Fleets Island Water Trail, Upper South Fork Shenandoah
  • Roanoke River Blueway
  • Upper South Fork of the Shenandoah River Blueway.
  • York County Blueways - Back Creek Park Loop , New Quarter Park Loop (Queen's Creek), Old Wormley Creek Landing Loop (West Branch/Wormley Creeks), Smith Landing Loop (Poquoson River)