New Potomac access site celebrated at Colonial Farms

Chesapeake Conservancy celebrates new Potomac access at National Colonial Farm

The Chesapeake Conservancy, which is the principle private advocate for the Chesapeake Gateways and Watertrails program and its public access grants, celebrated with the Accokeek Foundation its rebuilt boat dock, two kayak launches, and the retrofitting of the fishing pier to accommodate larger boats, as well as provide access to people with mobility challenges. The improved facilities, opened with a public ceremony on Saturday, June 22, increase public access to the Potomac River at Piscataway Park and demonstrate the value of the Gateways program in putting more people in touch with the Chesapeake and its rich history.

The Accokeek Foundation operates the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park, a 200-acre parcel of the park that interprets colonial farming practices and life. It is located across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, and protects the view from that national historic site.

“The Chesapeake region is full of history and stories, and Piscataway Park is one of the spots that best illustrate just how deep this heritage runs,” said Joel Dunn, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Conservancy. “Piscataway Indians had a town there when Capt. John Smith sailed up the river in 1607. Washington’s farm is across the river. The Potomac was critical to both these places. These new launches and docks will allow more people to explore the area by water, and see for themselves the connection between land and water and history. “

Dunn noted that the new boat launch is on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and will make exploring the trail easier.

Funding for the project came from a Gateways grant from the National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office and a bond bill from the State of Maryland. Support for the event came from individual donors, Maryland Milestones and Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Capital Yacht Charters, SMECO, Charlie’s Family Restaurant, Associated Insurance Management, Inc., Alice Ferguson Foundation, Chesapeake Conservancy, and Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning.