Tag Archives: Canoe and Kayak DC

Scenes from a Kayaking Adventure on the Potomac

Starting our adventure from Fletcher’s Cove


Before the kids left for a few weeks of sleep away camp, I made sure to get in some quality time and fun adventures with them here. It was the first week they were both on summer break from school, so I thought it would be fun to do something that felt quintessentially summer. For me, paddling is one of those activities. Not only is it outdoors and on the water, it’s an activity I automatically associate with the season because my early paddling experiences were at summer camp when I was a kid.

Thus, we decided to go kayaking and began our adventure at Fletcher’s Boathouse, where Boating in DC has one of many locations to rent kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and rowboats. Located off of Canal Road, the C&O Canal and Towpath run right by, so it’s a popular stop for people enjoying outdoor recreation. Concessions are available and there are seating areas and a nice big field for hanging out.

The stretch of the Potomac River near Fletcher’s is pretty and peaceful, and if you paddle toward Georgetown, the Washington Monument eventually comes into view. Along the way, there are wildlife sightings like birds and turtles and we’ve even seen deer in the woods. On this jaunt, we saw a hawk, great blue heron, ducks, egrets, and several turtles basking in the sun (but would plop in the water as we came near).

Sasha and I shared a double kayak, and Owen paddled on his own. Their early paddling experiences were more of a relaxing boat ride for them, while Levi and I did all of rowing. But both of the kids are pretty strong paddlers now; in fact, Sasha picked canoeing as one of her activities at camp and has really been enjoying it. So next time we hit local waters (which will be soon, as they return this weekend 🤗), canoes it is!

You can read more about Fletcher’s Boathouse here. For more about going with the flow on local waters, this post has all the info you need. The photos below also offer a glimpse.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Nature, Outdoor, Sports, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Outdoor Recreation at Pohick Bay Regional Park

It might seem a bit counterintuitive to be posting about a great outdoor spot with the frigid temps and foul weather we’ve had lately. Part of my justification for the timing: Maybe thinking about future fun we’ll have outside will help us tolerate the winter conditions. The other part: I want to get this post up while our outing there isn’t so far behind us that I forget about it. (Plus, we’re about to have a couple of warmer, sunnier days, so this recommendation could come in handy sooner than later.)

We visited Pohick Bay Regional Park in November, when the foliage was at its peak, and the weather was a tad warmer (and by a tad, I mean about 30 degrees). We had a couple of motivations for choosing the spot for that afternoon’s outing: 1) We wanted to get out for a nice hike at a new (to us) place 2) We wanted said place to be convenient to The Block, an Asian street food hall in Annandale that we were keen on checking out. (KFDC Tip: Including fun food stops in the mix always seems to get kids — mine, anyway — more excited for new adventures.)

Pohick Bay Regional Park is located in Lorton, VA, about a 40 minute drive from DC. We went to do a little hiking, but there is actually much more to do there, though mostly from spring through early fall. Along with eight and half miles of hiking trails that traverse the wooded area and offer lovely views of the Bay, other year-round features include a disc golf course, a nearby regular golf course, fishing (license required in VA), equestrian trails, and a playground. During warmer seasons, there is mini golf, camping & cabins, paddling opportunities, and outdoor programs. And in the summer, Pirate’s Cove Waterpark looks like a super fun way to stay cool on hot days.

Since the gate house was closed when we went, there was no admission fee, but from mid-March to mid-October, entry is $8/car ($15/week). We followed signs to a parking area, then began our hike at a trailhead just off it. The trees were brilliant colors and the ground was covered with leaves, making for a lovely autumn walk. We only hiked in the woods for a couple of miles before coming out on a road and walking back to the playground not far from our car and just off the Bay. The kids played there for awhile — a perfect way to work up an appetite before hitting our next destination, The Block. Which, btw, I highly recommend!

Pohick Bay Regional Park
Where: 6501 Pohick Bay Drive | Lorton, VA
Hours: Daily, dawn – dusk
Admission: $8/car ($15/week) mid-March – mid-October / Free in winter

The Block
Where: 4221 John Marr Drive | Annandale, VA
Hours: Mon-Weds, Sun 11am – Midnight, Tues-Sat 11am – 2am
Admission: Free, but plan to spend on food!

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Sports, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend