D.C. June 21, 2017
10 Perfect Places To Kayak And Canoe Around Washington DC This Summer
Some are surprised to learn that DC is actually a dream city for kayakers and canoe enthusiasts. Because of its prime location right on the Potomac and its close proximity to several tributaries and lakes, DC has plenty of places to kayak and canoe! This summer head to the water to the 10 best places to kayak and canoe near DC!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Potomac River
The Potomac is the most obvious choice for kayaking or canoeing. There are flat sections that are perfect for beginners and the river flows faster at different areas. There are several kayak and canoe rental places around Maryland, DC and Virginia that allow you to hop onto the Potomac. The Key Bridge Boathouse and Fletchers Cove Boathouse are two of the best spots.
2. Anacostia River
The Anacostia River runs from Prince George’s County Maryland along the Southwest part of DC before emptying into the Potomac. It’s a beautiful and quiet river and you can rent kayaks or canoes at Ballpark Boathouse, located right next to Yards Park. The Anacostia Watershed Society is also hosting Paddle Nights this summer at Bladensburg Waterfront Park.
3. Dyke Marsh
Dyke Marsh is on the west side of the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia It’s acres of beautiful freshwater tidal marsh that make for an ideal paddling place. If you don’t own a kayak or canoe, you can rent one at Mariner Sailing School in Alexandria or at Belle Haven Marina.
4. Piscataway Creek
Piscataway Creek is a tributary of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County. This flat water creek is perfect for peaceful paddling. You can get to the river from Fort Washington Marina and you can also rent kayaks there at Atlantic Kayak Co.
5. Patuxent River
Patuxent River is located in Maryland and is technically a tributary of Chesapeake Bay. The Patuxent Water Trail is a self guided trail and it’s the perfect way to explore the river and the surrounding wildlife.
6. C&O Canal
A large part of the C&O Canal no longer holds water but there are still parts of it that do and make for a great destination to canoe or kayak. So if you want to canoe or kayak, be sure to head around Georgetown to Violettes Lock (which is at mile 22). You can rent canoes at Swains Lock or Fletchers Cove.
7. Great Falls
Great Falls is definitely reserved for experienced kayakers because it is quite a ride! Many kayakers enjoy the thrill of going down the Class V and VI rapids of Potomac Gorge. Be aware though that you have to enter at the approved spots and have the appropriate equipment in order for it to be legal!
8. Pohick Bay Regional Park
Pohick Regional Park is located in Lorton, about 40 minutes outside of DC. There’s 1,000 acres of bayside shores and you can adventure out onto the relaxing bay in your own kayak or canoe or in a rented one from the park!
9. Black Hill Regional Park
Rent a kayak or canoe and enjoy exploring Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds Maryland. Follow the Black Hill Water Trail to experience everything the lake has to offer and learn about the wildlife and plants in the area.
10. Lake Needwood
Another Maryland spot is Lake Needwood. This 75 acre reservoir in Derwood, Maryland, just east of Rockville. There are rentals available in the park and fishing is allowed so you may just see some fish jumping out of the water as you paddle around!
Now that you have this list, where will you be kayaking or canoeing this summer?
If you would rather swim, then check out the best swimming spots near DC!