Bay Journal

A cabin waits for you along the Appalachian Trail

For years, my friend Alison has been telling me, “You’ve gotta rent a Potomac Appalachian Trail Club cabin! You’ll love it!” So here we were, my husband and I, on a late winter afternoon so dank and foggy we could...

Otsego Lake only a glimmer of great Susquehanna to come

The Susquehanna River starts its 444-mile journey as a lazy creek in Cooperstown, NY. It begins as an outflow from Otsego Lake, where its southern tip abuts the town. It then flows slowly under the Main Street Bridge before rounding a bend...

‘Dig a little deeper’ at the Norfolk Botanical Garden

At Norfolk Botanical Garden, everything is just so. Horticulturalists deadhead roses in the summer to ensure visitors encounter a perfume-filled, technicolor display in the fall. Azaleas are arrayed for maximum visual pop in the spring. Even...

Western Maryland railroad turns on charm at every bend

I’ve always been fascinated by the influence of topography on where humans have decided to set up camp over the millennia. Here in the Chesapeake Bay region, as recently as a few centuries ago, settlements in coastal areas were all...

Devil’s Marbleyard tempts hikers with rocky challenge

After a mile of increasingly pitched hiking through a dense forest, a strange scene unfolded. Quartzite boulders, ranging in size from La-Z-Boy recliners to school buses, reared up, blazing away in the sun. The absence of green was matched...

C&D museum sure to float the boat of any canal lover

The year was 1829, and the news was big — big enough to be trumpeted on a broadside that exercised all of the exaggerated fonts and eye-grabbing capitalization of the day: “Notice is hereby given,” it stated, “that...

Pleasant Grove Park a connection to nature, the past

In the small central Virginia county of Fluvanna, a triangle of historic farm and forest is wedged between the Rivanna River and Virginia Highway 53, just 20 miles southeast of Charlottesville. At the western end stands a three-story story...

Onancock paddle weaves nature, history with every stroke

Four and a half miles from its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay, Onancock Creek diverges in three directions. In 1680, settlers transformed the banks of this branching stream into the town of Onancock. The community on Virginia’s Eastern...

Thomas Point a beacon for mariners, historians alike

I once heard the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse described as a Victorian rendition of a lunar landing module. It’s an absurd image that stuck with me, not just for its succinct visual depiction of the structure — a white,...

Montpelier’s ‘Landmark Forest’ rooted in history

Horticulturist Sandy Mudrinich paused at the edge of the forest that rises behind Montpelier, the historic home of President James Madison, nestled in Orange, VA. Before leading a group of visitors farther up the hill, Mudrinich invited them...

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