Explore the calm, clear waters and the natural abundance of the Anacostia River as it threads through the heart of Washington, DC. The Anacostia River corridor has lots of options for outdoor fun and the Anacostia Water Trail can help you find them.
Paddling the Anacostia River by kayak or canoe covers a nine-mile stretch running from Bladensburg, Maryland, through Washington, DC, to its juncture with the Potomac River about two miles south of Capitol Hill. Paddlers experience how the character of the river varies remarkably. Upstream you’ll find forests, wetlands, and wildlife that seem amazingly removed from the city. Downstream are hubs of riverfront recreation, with community parks, restaurants, and sporting events.
The Anacostia has changed dramatically over the last 400 years – from a place of quiet natural abundance and American Indian settlements to a colonial seaport and bustling corridor in the nation’s capital. Water quality has suffered, but strong partnerships and community support are helping the river rebound. As development thrives along the southeast waterfront, interest in the river’s recreational potential has been renewed.
Exploring the Anacostia River by paddling offers a way to get to know the river and its resources. Its public access sites, programming, and orientation information is helping both residents and visitors find new adventures on the Anacostia and discover other treasures that have been there all along.