Chesapeake Conservancy’s Latest Virtual Tour Takes Viewers Down the Patuxent River

Annapolis, MD – Today, Chesapeake Conservancy released its 11th virtual tour of the Chesapeake Bay’s rivers. The latest virtual tour features the Patuxent River, a 115-mile long river located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The tour allows users to virtually experience the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail) with their computer, smartphone, or tablet from the perspective of a paddler. Users will also have access to a number of conveniences including geographic locations, historical information, and recreational amenities.

Photo by Peter Turcik

Chesapeake Conservancy partnered with Richmond-based to deploy their custom-made boat equipped with six cameras mounted on the vessel 10 feet above the water’s surface which captures high-resolution 360-degree images. The cameras are controlled by a central computer, which automatically captures GIS data, weather data, light data and directional data at 40-foot intervals.  These images are stitched together to create a digital image map of the Patuxent River, accessible by anyone with an Internet connection.

The virtual tours are available to the public on the Chesapeake Conservancy’s web site at

“Chesapeake Conservancy believes that connecting people to the Chesapeake Bay and its great rivers is critical to protecting and restoring the health of the watershed. Our hope is that these virtual tours encourage people to go out and experience the real thing,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said. “The Patuxent River is a diverse and beautiful river with many different types of places and things to see. Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary provides protected waters for less experienced paddlers, while Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary provides a unique scenic view. Through our virtual tours, users can plan their next trip and see some amazing sites just 25 miles east of Washington, D.C. on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.”

Chesapeake Conservancy’s 11 Riverview virtual tours completed thus far include the Elk, Patapsco, Patuxent, Northeast, Nanticoke, Potomac, Rappahannock, Sassafras, Susquehanna, York, and James rivers (courtesy of the James River Association). In addition to touring the rivers, there are specialty tours that include Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the West Branch of the Susquehanna, Fones Cliffs, and Mallows Bay – Potomac River.