Trail News

Explore Virginia’s Water Trails Like a Waterman. Book a Heritage Tour.

tommy leggett oysters waypoint fresh farm table

“For centuries, watermen have worked the creeks and rivers of tidewater Virginia, bringing the best the Chesapeake Bay region has to offer to markets nationwide. Now, through the watermen’s heritage tour program, visitors to Virginia can experience the time-honored history and traditions of our working watermen up-close and personal.” –Virginia Watermen’s Heritage Tours

Want to experience the Chesapeake Bay with an authentic working waterman as your personal guide?

Thanks to the Virginia Watermen’s Heritage Tours program, you can.

How does it all work? Here’s your step by step guide to setting up a tour.

1 – Learn More About the Program

Visit the Virginia Watermen’s Heritage Tours online here.

Learn more about the history and heritage of the Chesapeake Bay – the largest estuary in the U.S. and the 3rd largest in the world – and why water is a way of life for those who have settled around it.

Get a better understanding of Virginia’s seafood industry and meet the watermen who “are ambassadors for Chesapeake Bay restoration (and) depend on a healthy Chesapeake Bay more than any other economic sector.”

2 – Think About What You Want to Do

Choose from a wide range of on-the-water, custom tours and activities, including the following:

Oystering. Experience what it’s like to do hands-on tonging, patent tonging, dredging and aquaculture operations for oysters. Oysters, after all, are the PEARL of our region.

Crabbing. Pull crab pots, see shedding operations and learn about the Bay’s signature crustacean.

Fishing. Choose from charter fishing, head boat fishing, gill or pound netting experiences.

Sites and Landmarks. Let a waterman guide you to local historical sites by water, including historic homes, lighthouses and other places of interest.

Water-to-Table Seafood Tastings. Enjoy the bounty of the Bay from boat to plate.

Scenic Cruises. Creek crawls. Sunset cruise. Cruise to nowhere.

Wildlife and Bird Watching. Head out to find dolphins, pelicans, turtles, eagles and other seasonal wildlife.

Floating Classroom. Bring a class on the water as a field trip.

3 – Build Your Tour

Thanks to an easy online tour building platform, you can let the captains know how many passengers you have, what area you want to depart from and the type of tour you’d like to book. Through this process you can also meet the captains – the real hands-on experts of these Bay waters – and read up on their backgrounds.

Photo by Sara Harris Photography.