Ages All ages
Group Size up to 20
Time 45 min -2.5 hours

unguided: free

guided: $15/student

 Subjects: American Indian History & Culture, Ecology, American History and Culture, Life Science, Environmental Science.




The Java History Trail is open to everyone!

Walking through Java history...
Read about what
to do, whom to call, what to bring.

The Java History Trail is a 1.3-mile walking path through field, forest, and marsh that explores the history of the land and the people who lived and worked on it. Using the interpretive panels along the path, this is a self-guided walk through local history. Activities for before, during, and after the walk are available to enhance the educational experience.

The Java History Trail is often used in conjunction with Estuary Chesapeake. For large groups, or smaller groups with a whole day to visit, spend half of the day doing the Estuary Chesapeake program and half of the day walking the trail. 

| History on the TrailActivities

| SchedulingPreparation |

History on the Trail

Indians of the Chesapeake
Native Americans were the first people to use this land. They did so up until Colonial settlement in the early 1600s.

Colonial Settlement and Plantation Life
As the colonists arrived in the Chesapeake region, lands were cleared and farming was prevalent. This section of the trail includes a re-created tobacco barn, a tobacco prize (press) and panels that discuss the history of the site from about 1600 up to 1900.

Java Dairy Farm
In 1915, the farm was sold and turned into a dairy farm, which supplied milk for the local community and the Naval Academy.

Java's Return to Natures
In the early 1960s, the property was bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution, which developed a long-term ecological research program on the property. Over the years, the site has continued to be on the cutting edge of Chesapeake Bay research. This section of the trail includes a boardwalk through the marsh so you can get a closer look at the flora and fauna of the tidal wetlands.

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The Java History Trail is connected to a series of activities for before, during, and after walking the trail. Please contact 443-482-2216 for additional materials and activities. 

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The Java History Trail starts and ends at the Reed Education Center. Trail maps are available at both the Education Department and the reception area in the Administration Building.

Groups larger than ten children should contact 443-482-2216 in advance to let us know you are coming. Please bring one adult for every five children.

Groups can walk the trail for free. For a guided tour, fees are $15 per student.

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  • Take advantage of the activities available to do before the trip.
  • Contact 443-482-2216 for additional ideas on how to use the Java History Trail as an educational activity.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Read more about Preparing for your Field Trip.


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