Top Places For

Having a Modern-Day Treasure Hunt

We’ve all dreamed about finding hidden treasure, right? Well, get ready to set off on a modern-day treasure hunt at one of these great sites scattered around the Chesapeake region.

First, you’ll need a map -- or, in this case, an app. Take your treasure hunt into the twenty-first century by going geocaching. If you’ve never tried this fun, free game, it’s simple -- all you need is a smartphone and a sense of adventure! Just download a geocaching app, and soon you’ll be following a trail of clues to a hidden treasure, called a cache.

Best of all, geocaching is everywhere! No matter which local park, forest, beach, or trail you visit, there’s likely a cache hidden there for you to find. With so many places to go geocaching, you’ll never run out of treasures to discover.

For an even wilder treasure hunt, try your hand at fossil hunting along the shores of the Bay and its rivers. Millions of years ago, a shallow sea covered much of the Chesapeake, and some of the ancient fish and birds that once lived here still remain as fossils.

Prowl the beach for prehistoric shark teeth at Calvert Cliffs State Park in southern Maryland or Westmoreland State Park on the Potomac River. Or find fossils dating back hundreds of years at York River State Park near Williamsburg.

You may not find a chest full of gold, but you will have lots of fun exploring at the top places for having a modern-day treasure hunt.

Cliffs at Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert Cliffs State Park is a day-use park featuring a sandy beach, unique fossils, recycled tire playground, a freshwater and tidal marshland and 13 miles of hiking trails located in Calvert County.

Lusby, MD

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is a 500 acre preserve located 15 minutes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Maryland's Eastern Shore. With a variety of habitats, the Center is an excellent place to see the Chesapeake's wintering assortment of waterfowl.

Grasonville, MD

Hikers at Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park boasts 2,188 acres of sandy beaches, marshlands, and heavily wooded bluffs within the peninsula formed by the North East River, Elk River, and the Chesapeake Bay.

North East, MD

Flag Ponds Nature Park

Flag Ponds Nature Park

A Bay front park on the western shore, with beaches, freshwater ponds and trails. Once the site of a major pound net fishery, today the site preserves one of the original shanties and houses a fascinating exhibit on the Bay's old-time fishing industry.

Lusby, MD

Stratford Hall Plantation

Stratford Hall Plantation

Stratford Hall Plantation is the restored historic plantation of the Lee family and the birthplace of Robert E. Lee, sitting on a high bluff above the Potomac River.

Stratford, VA

Riverbend Park

Riverbend Park

Tucked away in a remote river setting, Riverbend Park has over 400 acres of forest, meadows, and ponds. Kayakers and canoeists can enjoy exploring many islands in the Potomac River.

Great Falls, VA

Trap Pond State Park

Trap Pond State Park

Nationally known for its scenic bald cypress stands and the James Branch Nature Preserve, Trap Pond State Park oversees 2,685 acres of land that offer recreational opportunities to the public.

Laurel, DE

A sunset at Westmoreland State Park

Westmoreland State Park

The park extends about one and a half miles along the Potomac River and offers hiking, camping, cabins, fishing, boating and swimming. Visitors can enjoy the park's vacation cabins as well as spectacular views of the Potomac.

Montross, VA

York River State Park

York River State Park

York River State Park offers visitors an opportunity to experience the environment of a coastal estuary. The park is known for its rare and delicate environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet.

Williamsburg, VA

April 11, 2016

Main image: Three explorers open a cache they found at Piscataway Park. (Image courtesy: Chesapeake Bay Program)
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