Updated: May 16
Bladensburg Water Front Park is a great place to access the Anacostia River.
There is ample parking (which is rare in the DC Metro area). There are docks, a soft launch, and a boat ramp from which you can access the river.
The current is gentle (except after big rains), so paddling up or down stream usually isn't a big deal. This reach of river is tidal with about 3 feet of tidal flux. At low tide it can be difficult to paddle up stream from the park, to Dueling Creek, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and the constructed wetlands.
Pay attention to the tides, because getting stuck up Dueling Creek or in the Aquatic Gardens is no joke.
The Anacostia River has held the 'most polluted river in America' title, but it is cleaning up and local governments acting to make the river fishable and swimmable by 2025. This stretch of river is a Maryland designated scenic river and has great historical significance.
Because of how shallow the river is you will not see many motor boats except for the boats that tend to the rowers in their 4 & 8 person boats.
If you want food after you paddle Eden's Restaurant (fantastic Eritrean food), Doodah Cafe (vegan soul food), and Roaming Rooster (amazing chicken sandwiches) are all within a mile of the park. If you want beer, DC Brau is a fun place to go and it allows you to bring Roaming Rooster to enjoy with your freshly made beer. If it is during the week Street Car 82 is a fun brewery to visit, but it is a couple miles from the take out.
A piece of gear you should always have in your life vest, but that you will definitely use here is a couple of plastic trash bags - there is always an opportunity for a little river clean-up love on this river
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