Anacostia River Explorers
Learn about the Anacostia River’s history, wildlife, the environmental threats it faces, and the solutions helping it realize its full potential through our Anacostia River Explorers boat tours. Supported by revenue raised from the DC Bag Bill, these guided, interpretative tours of the river typically last 1-2 hours and launch spots including from Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Park, Diamond Teague, and Bladensburg Waterfront Park.
Would you like to receive a special email on the day registration opens for events? Click here to join our email list and get a special notification when these events go live.
For all events, all participants under the age of 18 must be in a boat with an adult. Canoe tours are limited to 14 people, and 20-25 people for motorized boat tours depending on location, with a limit of 4 people per registration. Participants must agree to our current COVID-19 policy. AWS has personal flotation devices for children of all ages (including infants).
Our goal is to share the beauty of the Anacostia River with as many watershed residents as possible, so we ask all registrants to give at least 48 hours nontice in case of any cancellations. Tickets will be released as spots become available.
Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Anacostia River on a guided canoe tour as part of the Anacostia River Explorers program. Your guide will lead these one or two hour trips and participants will paddle with the group in Anacostia Watershed Society supplied canoes. You will see area wildlife and stunning views of Washington, DC. Registration is required and limited for these events.
Motorized Boat Tours
Explore the river while riding in one of our open-air motorized boats as part of the Anacostia River Explorers program. Anacostia Watershed Society staff will take participants on a one or two hour tour of the river while discussing natural and cultural history along with restoration efforts. You will experience the joy of being out on the water while observing this beautiful local area. Registration is required and limited for these events.
Would you like to receive a special email when registration opens for events in June-September? Click here to join our email list and get a special notification when these events go live.
|Th, 6/9||6-8 PM||Anacostia Park||Boat Tour||Past|
|Th, 6/16||6-8 PM||Bladensburg Waterfront Park||Boat Tour||Past|
|Th, 6/23||6-8 PM||Kingman Island||Boat Tour||Past|
|Th, 6/30||6-8 PM||Diamond Teague (public dock)||Boat Tour||Register|
|Th, 7/7||6-8 PM||Kingman Island||Boat Tour||Register|
|Th, 7/14||6-8 PM||Anacostia Park||Boat Tour||Register|
|Th, 7/21||6-8 PM||Bladensburg Waterfront Park||Boat Tour||Register|
|Th, 7/28||6-8 PM||Diamond Teague (public dock)||Boat Tour||Register|
|Th, 8/4||6-8 PM||Kingman Island||Boat Tour||Registration opens July 25.|
|Th, 8/11||6-8 PM||Bladensburg Waterfront Park||Boat Tour||Registration opens July 25.|
|Th, 8/18||6-8 PM||Anacostia Park||Boat Tour||Registration opens July 25.|
|Th, 8/25||6-8 PM||Bladensburg Waterfront Park||Boat Tour||Registration opens July 25.|
|Th, 9/1||5:30-7:30 PM||Kingman Island||Boat Tour||Registration opens August 29.|
|Th, 9/8||5:30-7:30 PM||Kenilworth Park||Canoe Tour||Registration opens August 29.|
|Th, 9/15||6-7 PM||Diamond Teague (public dock)||Boat Tour||Registration opens August 29.|
|Th, 9/22||6-7 PM||Bladensburg Waterfront Park||Boat Tour||Registration opens August 29.|
|Th, 9/29||6-7 PM||Anacostia Park||Boat Tour||Registration opens August 29.|
Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Located near the confluence of the Northeast and Northwest branches, this is the northern most navigable portion of the river. Once nearly 40 feet deep, this dock requires frequent dredging to remain accessible to motor boats. Tours that start here see incredible wildlife, with eagles, osprey, and kingfishers routinely in that part of the river.
Accessibility: Via Anacostia River Trail by bike or walking. Metrobus F1 and F8. Parking can get crowded if coming by car. Wheelchair accessible; some parking is very short walk to pier.
Just south of its frequently-confused cousin, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, this site makes you feel like you're in another world, not Washington, DC. From here the Kenilworth Ponds are easily accessible via canoe at high tide, and the barn swallows gathering overhead in the evening are a site to behold.
Accessibility: Via Anacostia River Trail by bike or walking. Metrobus U7 (0.7 mile walk from stop). Parking on grass field available. Short walk down a hill to the launch site.
Created out of dredge material from federal government projects starting back in 1903, Kingman Island now hosts acres of the Anacostia River's restored wetlands. Tours from this location see many of the infrastructure projects put in through the yeras juxtaposed with flourishin wetlands and wildlife.
Accessibility: Via Anacostia River Trail by bike or walking. Metrobus X2 (0.3 mile walk from stop). Parking at RFK available but not guaranteed during their events; driving not recommended. . Follow walking directions for path to dock from RFK Lot 7 linked above.
Anacostia Park, part of the National Park Service, hugs a huge portion of the river. From here the river's relationship to our urban community is most evident, and offers city views through the deeper waters. Depending on the tide, tours may take you through the "gateway to narnia" - the train bridge at the curve of the river where it turns from urban amenity to natural wonderland.
Accessibility: Via Anacostia Riverwalk Trail by bike or walking. Metrobus B2, 32, 36 (0.8mi walk). Plenty of parking, and very short and wheelchair-accessible walk to pier from there.
Diamond Teague Park Public Dock
You'll launch under the shadow of Nationals Park at our southernmost tour location on the Anacostia River. See the river at its widest and deepest with the cityscape behind you.
Accessibility: We are not launching from the Earth Conservation Corps Dock! Please follow signs to the public dock. Via Anacostia Riverwalk Trail by bike or walking. Metro Green Line Navy Yard (0.5 mile walk from station). Driving not recommended.
Participant Requirements for Volunteer and Recreational Events:
Note: Requirements are subject to change based on state, local, and federal guidance and/or our own organizational determinations. This policy is as of 6/6/22.
1. COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements:
- For those 5 years and older: Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone 5 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. The Anacostia Watershed Society requires that all participants who are eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine be fully vaccinated per the CDC guidelines and attest to being fully vaccinated in order to participate in any of our events. AWS also requires that all participants be up-to-date on booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible. Please see additional requirements listed in the below sections.
- For those under 5 years old: We welcome those who are under age 5 and are not yet eligible for the vaccines to participate in our events, but they must follow the below additional requirements, including being masked for the duration of the event.
2. Self-Monitoring: All AWS event and worksite participants are required to:
- Complete our Event Waiver Form and our COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to participation.
- If you have not been fully vaccinated and are eligible to receive the vaccination (i.e. 5 years or older), please do not come to the event.
- If you are fully vaccinated, but are not up-to-date on your booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, please do not come to the event.
- If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms associated with COVD-19 (such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, etc.), do not come to the event.
- If you have had any close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days, (even if you are fully vaccinated or have been tested), do not come to the event.
3. Masks: Eligible participants (i.e. those meeting AWS's COVID-19 requirements--see above) are not required to wear a mask for outdoor events. No indoor events are taking place at this time.
4. Reservations: Pre-registration is encouraged and may be required via AWS’s website (www.anacostiaws.org). All registrations require each participant to complete our Event Waiver Form and our COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to participation.