Re: Where to paddle in D.

Posted by Laszlo on Dec 6, 2004

In addition to the great suggestions above:

Prince Georges County has a nice park system on the Patuxent with canoe docks at Queen Anne's Landing and Jug Bay, as well as the Clyde Watson boat landing further south. There is a fee of either $5.00 per pop, or tri-county residents can buy an annual pass for $5.00. That's right, $5.00 for the whole year. These areas are protected, undeveloped nature preserves where if an airplane is not coming over you hear only Nature and your fellow boaters. These facilities are out toward Upper Marlboro and points up & down river. If you need detailed directions, let me know.

In Annapolis, there is the South River as was pointed out above, but that has a lot of killer power boats on weekends. I like to launch from Truxton Park (no fee Labor Day to Memorial Day, $2.00 honor system otherwise). This lets you go down Spa Creek past all the big houses and even bigger boats in speed-limited, wake-controlled comfort. You can use the public docks to park for a bit and get a gelatto, then back in the boat for a trip past the Naval Academy and up the Severn River (also with killer power boats during the season). You can even get inside the Naval Academy's waterways if the tide is right.

Inside DC itself there's the Anacostia River. It's only 8.5 miles from headwaters to where it meets the Potomac. It used to be very polluted, but it has been substantially cleaned up so that the only real problem is right after a heavy rain. Wait for a string of dry days and then go and you should be fine. This is a recovering urban river that needs a lot of help still and all the friends it can get. The best thing for the poor dear is to have people get to know it from water level. Put in at the Bladensburg Marina (free). Attractions are Dueling Creek (at high tide), the National Water Gardens (also at high tide) and further downriver, the DC panorama. There's a lot more wildlife than you'd expect - herons, ospreys, beaver, muskrat, water snakes, ducks, egrets, geese, jumping fish, and one day I even saw a squirrel fording the river.

Hope this helps.


In Response to: Where to paddle in D.C.? by Ken Leffert on Dec 5, 2004