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Home > Visit a Gateway > Potomac River Water Trail
Potomac River Water Trail - Maryland and Virginia shorelines, from Washington DC to confluence with the Chesapeake Bay
Maps / Guides:

The following product(s) are available to enhance your experience at this Gateway. Click on the title below for a more detailed description.

Potomac River Water Trail MapPotomac River Water Trail Map - Set of six fold-out strip maps covering river from DC to the Bay. Includes pocket folder.
Trail Map & Guide:

A new boxed set of six maps covers 100 miles of river from the Nation’s Capital to the Chesapeake Bay. This water trail map and guide is available for $5.00 at many Gateway sites along the Potomac (see the "activities" section below for links to these Gateway locations.)

Map order forms for the Potomac River Water Trail can be obtained from Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Or maps can be ordered by calling:

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Reservation Center

Maryland Greenway Commission

Handling and postage will be charged for maps ordered by phone.

Safety Info: 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 Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, 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. [View a list of water safety tips]
River Classification: The Tidal Potomac from Key Bridge to the Bay is rated as a Class I river. (Upstream there are much more challenging runs in IV or V Classes though these sections are not part of the water trail). Although the Potomac is generally rated as an easy river to paddle, boaters need to be aware that as the river widens, it may become dangerous for small boats and kayaks during periods of high winds or strong currents. Large waves may develop which could overturn small boats. Paddlers should keep appraised of threatening weather, especially summer thunderstorms. Read more about the different levels of River Classifications.
Water Flow Info: Potomac River near Washington, DC and Little Falls Pump Station
Nearby Gateway Sites: If you plan on visiting Potomac River Water Trail, please consider the following Gateways sites that are nearby:

  • Occoquan Water Trail

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