The bald eagle is the emblem of the United States. These majestic raptors represent strength and resilience, and here in the Chesapeake region there are dozens of places where you can see them in the wild.
It hasn’t always been this way. In the mid-20th century, bald eagles nearly disappeared because of habitat loss, illegal hunting, and the pesticide DDT. By 1978, bald eagles were listed as endangered throughout the Chesapeake region. But today, eagles have returned in record numbers thanks to conservation efforts across the country.
Head to places like Chippokes Plantation, Pocomoke River State Park, and the Patuxent Research Refuge to spot bald eagles soaring across the sky. It’s easy to identify these big birds: Look for their pure white head and tail feathers, an unmistakable sign that you’ve spotted an eagle. And keep an eye out for their giant nests near the tops of tall trees by the water.
There’s no better way to celebrate eagles than by visiting one of the top places for watching bald eagles in the wild. Just don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars!
With seven miles of waterfront on the north shore of the Rappahannock, Belle Isle State Park features diverse tidal and nontidal wetlands, lowland marshes, tidal coves and upland forests.
An Eastern Shore wildlife refuge attracting vast numbers of waterfowl to quintessential Bay tidal wetlands. While primarily a tidal marsh, the refuge also includes a mature pine forest.
A designated National Natural Landmark, Caledon State Park provides visitors a unique opportunity to view bald eagles in their natural habitat.
Chapman State Park is a journey through time, to Southern Maryland's pastoral heritage, finding mature forests, rare plants, and bald eagles frequenting the skies above.
This 140 acre park sits on the Chickahominy River near its confluence with the James River. The park provides a range of opportunities for recreation in a riverfront surrounding, including overnight camping, boating and fishing.
Chippokes Plantation State Park is one of the oldest working farms in the United States. Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River, directly opposite Jamestown Island and has a wide variety of traditional park offerings.
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a 2,285-acre island refuge at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It's an important migration stopover and wintering area for thousands of waterfowl.
The 2,276-acre Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge was specifically created to protect essential bald eagle nesting, feeding, and roosting habitats along the Potomac River.
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.
Site of the first permanent English settlement in North America (1607) along the James River, near the Bay. Explore the remains of the "Old Towne", as well as the "New Towne" where colonists built more substantial homes after 1620.
Explore the southern-most major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and the location of diverse historic and natural sites.
The Upper James River Water Trail meanders through beautiful Botetourt County. You'll experience the unspoiled beauty of the river as you paddle through scenic valleys and past rolling farmland while keeping a watchful eye out for wildlife.
King's Landing Park - 260 acres of hardwood bottom forest, river shoreline and wetlands - sits along the Patuxent River and Cocktown Creek. A 200-foot fishing pier and canoe and kayak launch provide access to the beauty of the Patuxent.
Kingman and Heritage Islands are natural parklands found on the Anacostia River in Northeast Washington, DC. There are over 50 acres of natural area to be explored on these two island habitats by water and land.
The shores of Dundee and Saltpeter Creeks, over three thousand acres, are the largest area of natural wetlands and forest available for public study and enjoyment in the Baltimore area.
Overlooking the Potomac River, the park is a haven for migrating bird species in spring and fall. It has hiking trails, 3 miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe launch and a visitor center.
Mount Harmon Plantation is the northern most colonial plantation open to the public in the region, and is a historic and scenic treasure.
The Patuxent Research Refuge is the nation's only National Wildlife Refuge established to support wildlife research. Tour portions of 12,000 acres along the upper Patuxent River, and a visitor center on regional and national wildlife.
Jug Bay Natural Area offers many activities including walking through wetlands, guided boat tours, hiking and horseback riding over eight miles of trails, boating, fishing, camping, hunting, and visiting a museum.
With over 400 acres of forests, fields and shoreline on the Eastern Shore, Pickering Creek Audubon Center provides a natural environment for learning about the Chesapeake Bay.
Pocomoke River State Forest and Park provides 17,676 acres for exploring stands of loblolly pine, cypress swamps, and the beauty of the Pocomoke River, a major Eastern Shore tributary.
Located within the 15,000 wooded acres of Pocomoke State Forest in the Southwestern section of Worcester County, Pocomoke River State Park provides a base for a vast array of outdoor and tourist activities.
Powhatan Creek is a 23 mile tributary of the James River - and a great place to canoe, fish and observe birds and other wildlife. The trail is a straight paddle downstream to Jamestown Island.
Established in 1996 to conserve fish and wildlife habitat along this vital tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, the refuge focuses primarily on protecting and managing tidal and inland wetlands, and adjacent uplands, to benefit wildlife.
This Eastern Shore preserve is a delight for birders. where one finds undisturbed waterfowl habitat and a sanctuary for bald eagles.
Over 20 miles long, the Sassafras River traces the shores of Maryland's Cecil and Kent counties before reaching its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay between Howell Point and Grove Point.
This 20-acre riverfront recreational area is in the city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The park offers boating, fishing, picnicking and cruises on a paddlewheeler.
The 224-acre Susquehannock State Park is on a wooded plateau overlooking the Susquehanna River in southern Lancaster County. Besides the awesome view, the park offers a variety of recreational opportunities for year-round fun.
The US National Arboretum functions as a major center of botanical research. It conducts wide-ranging basic and developmental research on trees, shrubs, turf, and floral plants. It has a library with 10,000 volumes and approximately 90 publications concentrating in botanical literature.
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.