Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Bladensburg, MD
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description:

Bladensburg Waterfront Park offers access to the Anacostia River for boating, fishing, birdwatching, and sightseeing at the "head of tide" just below the confluence of the Northeast Branch and Northwest Branch. Canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals are offered on weekends from May through October.

Interpretive signs provide historical information about the area, which was occupied by Native Americans, served as a major shipping port in the colonial period, and played a pivotal role in the War of 1812. A variety of public programs are offered, including river tours by canoe and pontoon boat, canoe and kayak lessons, slide-illustrated nature lectures, a summer concert series, and children's nature crafts and science programs.

Location / Directions:

From Washington, DC: use New York Ave. (US 50) east; turn left (north) on Bladensburg Road; pass Peace Cross monument on left. You are now on Annapolis Road; take first right turn into the park.

From Maryland: Starting from Capital Beltway (I 495), take exit 23 onto Kenilworth Avenue (MD 201). Go south towards Bladensburg, about 5 miles. After traffic light at Upshur Street, look for exit ramp on right for MD 450 (Annapolis Road). Go left at end of ramp, onto 450 west. Park entrance is 2 short blocks on the left.

From Virginia: Use Kenilworth Avenue (MD 201) north. Take exit ramp on right for MD 450 (Annapolis Road). Turn right at traffic light onto MD 450 West. Park entrance is 2 short blocks on the left.

Address: Bladensburg Waterfront Park
4601 Annapolis Road
Bladensburg, MD 20710
Visitor Phone: (301) 779-0371

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.

Biking Birding and Wildlife Viewing Boat Access Educational Programs Fishing Hiking Picnicking Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours:

Open daily from 7 am to sunset. Actual daily closing time varies seasonally and is posted next to the park entrance road. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.


Use of the park, fishing pier, and boat ramp are all free. Free 45-minute public pontoon boat rides are offered Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at noon, from April 15-November 15, and on Sunday evenings at 6 pm from May-September. Resident and non-resident fee schedules apply to other activities such as boat rentals, canoe tours, canoe and kayak lessons, and pavilion rental.

Visitor Facilities:

Facilities include visitors' 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. Currently under construction (to be completed by late fall, 2004) is a pedestrian bridge over the river, which will connect the park to an extensive system of paved bicycle trails on the other side.


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.


Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY