Bladensburg Waterfront Park

Bladensburg Waterfront Park

Nestled among the Port Towns of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor and Cottage City, The Bladensburg Waterfront Park is located on the Anacostia River, one of the most historic waterways in America. The unique waterfront features a paved riverside walk, picnic pavilion, a public fishing pier, free boat ramp, community boat storage, playground, B&O railroad caboose, interpretive signage, and bicycle, canoe, kayak, paddle boat, and rowboat rentals.

The interpretive pontoon tours allow visitors to explore this surprisingly scenic river. The park also offers educational environmental and social studies programs. Enjoy special events in the park such as The A-May-Zing Animal Fest and The Annual Port Towns Day. The hiker/biker trail links this park directly to the Anacostia Tributary Trail System and the Anacostia River Trail.

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Image Credit: Bladensburg Waterfront Park

Hours

Park Hours: Daily, Sunrise to Sunset (Parking lot closed and front gate locked at posted closing times)
Office Hours: 9 am-5 pm (Daily)
CLOSED: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, & New Year’s Day

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

Use of the park, fishing pier, and boat ramp are all free.

Boat rentals (canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, and rowboats) are available April-October.
Mondays-Fridays from 9 am-3pm, with equipment return by 4 pm.
Saturdays-Sundays from 9 am-4pm, with equipment return by 5 pm.

Canoe & Kayak Rates

Resident: $20/day
Non-Resident: $26/day
Group Paddle Guide: $60 (Flat rate for groups of 5-10 people; Based on staff availability; Must reserve at least 2 weeks ahead; Maximum 3 hours trip)

Paddle BoaT & Rowboat Rates

Resident: $10/hour; $25/day; 
Non-Resident: $13/hour; $33/day

Bicycle & Tricycle Rentals

Rent a bicycle or tricycle and explore the sites along the Anacostia Tributary Trail System and the new Anacostia River Trail to Washington, D.C.

Bicycle rentals are available daily from 9 am-4 pm, year-round.

Adult Bicycle Rates

Resident: $15/day
Non-Resident: $20/day

Youth Bicycle Rates

Resident: $10/day
Non-Resident: $13/day

Fishing rod rentals are available daily from 9 am-4 pm, year-round.

Activities

The park offers an extensive program of public activities that include pontoon boat tours; guided canoe tours; canoe and kayak lessons; rentals of canoes, kayaks, and rowboats; guided discovery hikes, birdwatching, bicycle tours; nature club, nature crafts, and science programs for children; Maryland Safe Boating course; community events such as the summer Sunday evening performance series, Paddlesport Regatta, Port Towns Day, Teddy Bear Picnic; community boathouse and practice area for high school and college rowing teams.

In addition to participating in our organized activities, many visitors pursue their own interests including fishing, boating, birdwatching, and strolling by the river with children, pets, binoculars, or all of the above.

Water Trail(s)

Come enjoy Bladensburg Waterfront Park, located on the scenic Anacostia River, one of the most historic waterways in America! Explore the river by boat or the hiker/biker trails linking to the Anacostia Tributary Trail System and the new Anacostia River Trail to Washington, D.C.

Water Safety

Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.

Water Flow Info:

Facilities

Facilities include the visitor center, restrooms, free public boat ramp and fishing pier, picnic pavilion, bench seating and several gazebos, children's playground, historic train caboose, replica of War of 1812 military vessel, and numerous interpretive signs describing historical features of the Bladensburg area.

Accessibility

Visitor’s center, restrooms, walkways and interpretive signs, fishing pier, and pontoon boat tours are all wheelchair accessible.

Handicapped parking spaces provided. TTY telephone number 301-699-2544. Please call 2 weeks ahead to arrange sign language interpretation for programs, or other accommodations of special needs.

History

Bladensburg, Maryland, a tobacco trade port, was a bustling community sitting at the furthest inland point where the Eastern Branch of the Potomac (now Anacostia River) was still navigable.  As part of a new turnpike running between Washington and Baltimore, a bridge had been built across the river.

British military leaders, looking for a way into the city, intended to cross here into Washington.  The British took position, setting up Congreve rockets behind homes and shops on the Eastern shore of the river. The first line of American defenders, unaware of the scope of the British force, opened fire. Returning fire, the British launched their rockets – a weapon previously unseen on American soil. The American troops panicked and began to fall back.  General William Winder, commander of the American troops, was unsure about the ability of his troops and hesitated in calling them back to their position.

Weather

Last updated: October 02, 2019
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