Paddle Nights on the Anacostia River

Please join the Anacostia Watershd Society on Thursdays this summer for our FREE Paddle Nights on the Anacostia River!  You provide a curiosity to explore the treasure in your backyard, and AWS provides the canoes, life jackets, paddles and safety lesson.

To register, click on our CALENDAR and click on the event on the day you want to paddle. Click "Read More" and use the registration link found on that page. If the info doesn't pop up the first time you click, please try again.

· Paddle Nights Flyer (PDF download)

· Paddle Night Details

· Locations

· Full Schedule by Date

Paddle Night Details

Each event starts at 5:00 and runs until 7:30.  The events are first-come first-served, so come early for the best chance of getting out on the water.  Please register for each participant on our calendar HERE. Registration does not guarantee that there will be a boat available, but it does allow us to inform you of any changes or cancellations due to weather.   A cancellation due to weather will be made by noon on the day of the event.

If you have never paddled before, don’t worry!  Our instructors will help you learn:

·       Basic boating safety

·       Introductory paddling technique

·       Elementary maneuvering

Children are welcome!  All minors under 18 must be in a canoe with an adult.  AWS has personal flotation devices that will fit children over the age of 3; if your child is under 3, you may bring them out on the water if you have a Coast Guard-approved flotation device of your own.  

If you have a group of 8 or more people interested in learning, schedule a guided tour with one of our instructors. Please use our online contact form to submit a request, include your phone number, the names (and e-mail addresses) of those wishing to participate, and any dates you prefer for the class. AWS cannot guarantee availability on requested dates but will work with your group to find the right fit. 

 For more information, email


For the 2015 season, Paddle Nights will launch from four locations on the Anacostia River (clicking location name opens map in new window):

  • Kenilworth Park
    • May 14, June 11, July 30, August 27, September 10
    • Kenilworth Park is one of the best places to see a quieter and more serene Anacostia River.  Because this site right next door to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens - and across the river from the National Arboretum - the plant and wildlife here is abundant.  Experience for yourself the fun that can be had in this special spot on the Anacostia River.
  • Ballpark Boathouse
    • May 21, June 25, July 16, August 13, September 3, September 24
    • Ballpark Boathouse showcases the Anacostia River as a truly urban waterway.  The Capital Riverfront has been developed with many urban stormwater controls such as raingardens, green roofs, and other green infrastructure.  The water here is calm and wide, ideal for a fun evening of paddling and exploring!
  • Bladensburg Waterfront Park
    • May 28, June 18, July 9, August 6, September 17
    • Bladensburg Waterfront Park is a beautiful park situated near the original historical port of Bladensburg.  Just south of the confluence of the North East and North West Branches of the Anacostia River, from this site you can explore the most suburban launch point of the river.  There is a covered pavillion, picnic benches, and playgrounds, so it's an ideal location for a summer evening with your family and friends.
  • Anacostia Community Boathouse
    • June 4, July 2, July 23, August 20
    • Anacostia Community Boathouse is located right at the place where the Anacostia River goes from rustic treasure to urban waterway. The boathouse is home to many area paddling teams, so see what a bustling urban launch point can look like. Paddlers can go across the river to Anacostia Park, up the river to see more wildlife, or down the river to see more of the city.  Cormorants, "ducks in tuxedos" abound at this site.

Full Schedule by Date

Date Location  
June 4 ACBA Register
June 11 Kenilworth Park Register
June 18 Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
June 25 Ballpark Boathouse Register
July 2 ACBA Register
July 9 Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
July 16 Ballpark Boathouse Register
July 23 ACBA Register
July 30 Kenilworth Park Register
August 6 Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
August 13 Ballpark Boathouse Register >
August 20 ACBA Register
August 27 Kenilworth Park Register
September 3 Ballpark Boathouse Register
September 10 Kenilworth Park Register
September 17 Bladensburg Waterfront Park Register
September 24 Ballpark Boathouse Register



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