Chesapeake Conservancy Releases Virtual Tour of Fones Cliffs, Rappahannock River

Features Breathtaking Views of Fones Cliffs

Annapolis, MD – Building upon its library of virtual tours, the Chesapeake Conservancy today released a tour of the Rappahannock River, allowing viewers to experience one of the Chesapeake’s most pristine rivers, including breathtaking 360-degree images of Fones Cliffs, from their computer, smart phone, or tablet.

The Chesapeake Conservancy obtained the images for the tour by partnering with Richmond-based to deploy a one-of-a-kind, custom-made pontoon raft equipped with six cameras mounted on the vessel 10 feet above the water’s surface capturing high-resolution, 360-degree images every 40 feet. The cameras are controlled by a central computer, which also automatically captures GIS data, weather data, light data and directional data at 40′ intervals.

The Chesapeake Conservancy is working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and others to conserve this largely unspoiled landscape, which is a place of both natural and cultural importance, and is a key feature along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the nation’s first national water trail. Captain John Smith’s wrote about his explorations in the area, including encounters with the American Indians living along the river.

“The Rappahannock and Fones Cliffs in particular, are some of the few places in the Chesapeake that Captain John Smith and the American Indians would still recognize today as they saw it more than 400 years ago,” Chesapeake Conservancy President & CEO Joel Dunn said. “With Fones Cliffs currently under threat of development, the Chesapeake Conservancy hopes that the virtual tour will connect people with this truly special place along the John Smith Chesapeake Trail and encourage them to join us in our efforts to protect it.”

“There’s no other place in the Chesapeake quite like Fones Cliffs. The breathtaking cliffs are steeped in history and an international priority as habitat for one of the largest concentration of eagles on the East Coast,” Dunn continued.

“These virtual tours are a great way to get people out to enjoy the outdoors. It can be difficult to know where to begin when paddling a river as big as the Rappahannock,” Terain360.comfounder Ryan Abrahamsen said. “When people see where they can launch their boat, where they can tour, and what is along the way, it is a far less daunting task to plan and actually go experience this scenic river.”

The Chesapeake Conservancy’s other Riverview virtual tours include the James (sponsored by the James River Association), Nanticoke, Susquehanna, as well as the proposed Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary. This summer, the Chesapeake Conservancy has also started mapping Baltimore Harbor/Patapsco, the rest of the Potomac, and the Sassafras, Elk and Northeast rivers.

The virtual tour of the Rappahannock is available to the public on the Chesapeake Conservancy’s web site at The Fones Cliffs section in particular is available at