Visit your Anacostia Park
Did you know that the waterfront along the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, includes more than 1,100 acres of public open space? That's larger than Central Park in New York! Find out how to take advantage of the resource in your back yard by finding an event below or planning your own trip to Anacostia Park.
PICNIC ALONG THE ANACOSTIA
Whether you spread out a blanket in the grass or use the park's picnic tables and grills, cooking out or picnicking in a park is a fun way to spend some time with friends and family. Many parks allow you to bring your own charcoal grill, or use one of the park's grills. Good areas to grill out or have a picnic include Anacostia Park, Bladensburg Waterfront Park, and many more parks throughout the watershed.
PADDLE THE ANACOSTIA
You can launch a canoe, kayak or other boat and explore the Anacostia River! The gentle flow of the Anacostia and forested shoreline of the river’s northern reaches make it a fantastic place for canoe and kayak adventures. Several APACC member organizations offer free paddle events, or you can bring your own boat to the river and launch from several locations.
HIKE THE ANACOSTIA
The woods and meadows of the Anacostia corridor can provide a refuge from the bustle of the city. Find trails in Kenilworth Park, Kingman and Heritage Island, the US National Arboretum, or follow one of the many Heritage Routes in Maryland. Maryland Milestones offers many resources for Anacostia trail explorers in Prince George's and Montgomery counties
SWIM IN ANACOSTIA PARK
While the Anacostia River is on its way to being a swimmable, fishable river, it isn't quite there yet. In the meantime, the Anacostia Pool and Recreation Center provides an outdoor swimming pool along the banks of the Anacostia River and offers swimming lessons, water aerobics and other activities for residents during the summer. The pool is operated by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and opens every year on Memorial Day weekend.
FISH THE ANACOSTIA
The Anacostia River is a beautiful place to fish. Fishing has long been a popular sport on the Anacostia River – just be sure to get a license and practice catch and release! It is currently highly advised by the DC Department of Health to limit consumption of fish that you catch from the Anacostia River. You can get a fishing license online for a small fee from the Department of Energy and Environment website. Good areas to fish include Diamond Teague Park, Anacostia Park and streambeds in the tributaries.
VIEW WILDLIFE ON THE ANACOSTIA
Anywhere along the Anacostia River Trail, you might spot some interesting wildlife. The Anacostia River and the plants along its banks provide food, water, and shelter for a number of wild animals. Keep an eye out for animals that use the water and the shoreline like ducks, geese, shorebirds, herons, and muskrats, as well as exciting birds of prey like bald eagles and osprey. Dawn and dusk are the best times for wildlife sightings. For your safety and theirs, never approach or feed wildlife. Good areas to find wildlife include Kingman Island, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the US National Arboretum and more!
BIKE THE ANACOSTIA
The Anacostia RiverWalk Trail offers over 15 miles of separated, multi-use trails along or connecting to the Anacostia River in DC and Maryland. A bulk of the ARWT features wide multi-use paths that are perfect for walking, bicycling, running or your preferred non-motorized mode of transit.
YOGA, MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS IN NATURE
There are many ways to center yourself, relax, work out or experience spirituality on the Anacostia River.
RUN ALONG THE ANACOSTIA
There are over 60 miles of connected trails along the Anacostia River and its tributaries throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland. You can find a map of the river trail here, and a map of trails in Maryland here.
FREE ROLLER SKATING
Anacostia Park is the only National Park with a pavilion dedicated to roller skating! You can rent skates for FREE starting Memorial Day through Labor Day with a government-issued ID. Learn more about visiting the pavilion.
GOLF ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER
Langston Golf Course is an historic public 18-hole golf course named after John Mercer Langston, the first African American elected into public office. Langston Golf Course is located on Benning Road in northeast DC, at the end of the DC Street Car Line. The facility is celebrated as landmark of African American golf heritage. Langston also contains a driving range on Kingman Island and is home to the Langston Grille, known for its all-day breakfast! Learn more at Langston Golf Course.
WORSHIP BY THE RIVER
The Anacostia River waterfront parks can be beautiful venues for spiritual gatherings. If you are planning a large event, you may need a permit.