Anacostia River Discovery Series

Free summer fun, all summer long
Anacostia River Discovery Series
Free summer fun, all summer long
Join us on the river

We are thrilled to launch the 2019 season of the Anacostia River Discovery Series with many opportunities to get outside and explore with the Anacostia Watershed Society!

Whether you’re a lifetime resident or brand new to the region, there’s always something to discover on the Anacostia River! We will be hosting recreation activities every Thursday evening and the first Saturday of every month from May - October. As part of the Anacostia River Discovery Series, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of the Anacostia River, observe wildlife in their natural habitats, and get out on the water.

New for 2019 - Field Guide-themed events! Get real-life use of our new Beginner's Field Guide to the Plants and Animals of the Anacostia Watershed of the Anacostia Watershed (pdf link) throughout the summer at our special species-themed Discovery Series events.  Marked on the schedule below with the species that will be featured, at these events you'll be guided by Anacostia Watershed Society staff on tours that focus on various plants and animals of the watershed like amphibians, mammals, and raptors!

Would you like to receive a special email on the day registration opens for events in June-September? Click here to join our email list and get a special notification when these events go live.

Yes! I want to join the Discovery Series email list!

Jump to full schedule

Canoe Tours

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. 

Nature Hikes and Bike Rides

There's lots of the Anacostia Watershed to see from on land! Enjoy a guided bike ride around the newly connected portions of the Anacostia River Trail, hailed as among the best urban bike trails in the country! On bike rides, Anacostia Watershed Society staff leads the way and helps orient the group for those who are new to the trail system.  This year you can also explore the watershed on a guided nature walk!  During walks, Anacostia Watershed Society staff share information and history about the Anacostia and the plants and animals that call the watershed home.  We'll follow along in our new Beginner's Field Guide to the Plants and Animals of the Anacostia Watershed of the Anacostia Watershed (pdf link).  Each guided walk explores a different type of animal and location in the watershed.  Registration is required and limited for these events.  

Paddle Nights

Our paddle nights are an opportunity for "open paddle time" on the river. You'll have the opportunity to take out an AWS canoe or kayak independently and explore an area of the river. We provide the boat, paddle, and PFD, while you provide the curiosity to explore the river! Boats are on a first-come first-served basis and registration does not guarantee a boat will be available right when you arrive. Registration is required. 

For all events, all participants under the age of 18 must be in a boat with an adult. AWS has personal flotation devices for children of all ages (including infants).

If you have a group of eight or more and are interested in participating, or if you have any additional questions please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Summer 2019 Schedule

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.

DateTimeEvent TypeLocationRegister
Th, 5/2 5:30-7:30pm Paddle Night Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
Sa, 5/4 ALL DAY Bluegrass Festival Kingman Island Boat Tours Kingman Island Hourly tours | More Info
Th, 5/9 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour Diamond Teague Waitlist
Th, 5/16 5:30-7:30pm Hike/Amphibians Kingman Island Register
Th, 5/23 5:30-7:30pm Bike Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
Th, 5/30 5:30-7:30pm Canoe tour Kenilworth Park Waitlist
Sa, 6/1 10am-12pm Boat tour Diamond Teague Waitlist
Th, 6/6 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour 11th Street Bridge Waitlist
Th, 6/13 5:30-7:30pm Canoe tour Kenilworth Park Waitlist
Th, 6/20 5:30-7:30pm Bike Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
Th, 6/27 5:30-7:30pm Paddle Night Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
Th, 7/4 10am-12pm Boat tour Bladensburg Waterfront Park Waitlist
Sa, 7/6 10am-12pm Paddle Clinic - Paddling for Beginners AREC Waitlist
Th, 7/11 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour Kingman Island Waitlist
Th, 7/18 5:30-7:30pm Hike/Wetlands Kenilworth Park Register
Th, 7/25 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour 11th Street Bridge Waitlist
Th, 8/1 5:30-7:30pm Paddle Night Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
Sa, 8/3 10am-12pm Canoe tour Kenilworth Park Waitlist
Th, 8/8 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour Kingman Island Waitlist
Th, 8/15 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour/Raptors Diamond Teague Waitlist
Sa, 8/17 10am-12pm Canoe tour AREC Waitlist
Th, 8/22 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour 11th Street Bridge Waitlist
Th, 8/29 5:30-7:30pm Hike/Mammals Kingman Island Register
Th, 8/29 5:30-7:30pm Rescheduled Boat Tour/Raptors Diamond Teague Register
Th, 9/5 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour Diamond Teague Waitlist
Th, 9/12 5:30-7:30pm Paddle night Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
Th, 9/19 5:30-7:30pm Boat tour AREC Waitlist
Th, 9/26 5:30-7:30pm Canoe tour Kenilworth Park Waitlist
Sa, 9/28 TBD Hike/BioBlitz Kingman Island TBD
More in this category: « Signature Events Countdown to 2025 »
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