Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

Ideas to spout as Smith trail becomes national park

October 12, 2009, 7:52 am
Get out your sharpest crayons and get ready to color outside the lines, if you like.

The National Park Service is looking for guidance on how to transform the Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail from an act of Congress into the nation's first national park with liquid rather than dirt trails. Getting there won't be easy. There are no models for something this sweeping.

"This is larger than Yellowstone," says superintendent John Maounis of his 3,000-mile water park that touches three states and the District of Columbia. "Even though we've been at this for two years, we're still at the beginning."

Park planners are having eight meetings this month - three in Maryland - to give outdoors and history lovers a chance to kick the tires on four options that would guide how the park grows in the next decade or two. On Wednesday, they'll be at the Annapolis Maritime Museum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., ready to listen.