First thoughts of the Chesapeake Bay often bring up images of crabs and oysters. But, as the largest estuary in North America, the Chesapeake Bay has touched and influenced much of the American story - early settlement, commerce, the military, transportation, recreation and more. The Bay and its surrounding 64,000 square mile watershed hold a treasure trove of historic areas, natural wonders and recreational opportunities.
Experience the diversity of the Chesapeake Bay through the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - a system of over 120 parks, refuges, museums, historic communities and water trails in the Bay watershed. Each of these sites tells a piece of the vast Chesapeake story. For a comprehensive guide to the Gateways Network, visit the In Depth section.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network is coordinated by the National Park Service, which also manages about 10 of the Network's sites. Other Gateways are managed by local, state, and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations.