Come to the River and Find Your 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! Did you know there are over 60 miles of connected walking and biking trails along the Anacostia River and its tributaries in DC and Maryland? The Year of the Anacostia is an invitation to come to the river and find your park!
Click an icon below to find information about different ways to enjoy the amazing natural resource in your neighborhood's backyard.
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. Keep your eye out for upcoming events including bike rides and tours!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. There are several ways to rent a boat or join a boat tour (for free!), or you can bring your own boat to the river and launch from several locations. Check out the calendar of events this year or read more about boating on the river here.
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.
Find your way around the watershed with these maps.
Anacostia River Trail Map - DC and Maryland
This map highlights the destinations along the Anacostia River in Washington, DC and Bladensburg, MD. It was developed by the Anacostia Watershed Society and the National Park Service.
Anacostia Tributary Trail System Map
This map highlights the destinations along the Anacostia River Tributaries Maryland. It was developed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.