Spring is right around the corner, so here at Sudir Raju’s Blog we want to invite those who live around Maryland, Virginia and mainly our nation’s capital, to go out and enjoy one of the many water activities that become available as the weather clear and temperatures increase. One of the best things of living in the district is that we are blessed by having two rivers running right down the middle of our territory, the Potomac and the Anacostia River, which means that they are plenty of activities available for the whole family. If you travel a little bit outside of D.C. then you can also find plenty of parks with lakes, creeks, rivers and even some found right by the ocean where you can enjoy a wide range of leisure activities going from swimming and sliding all the way to canoeing, kayaking and even jet skiing.
Cunningham Falls State Park
This beautiful park is located in Thurmont, MD and is part of the Catoctin Mountain Park. In here you can find the Hunting Creek Lake, a 44-acre body of water that is the perfect spot for swimming and boating. The place is a great location if you want to enjoy the water but at the same time have a snack bar within reach where you can buy food instead of having to bring your own.
The Potomac River is probably the most obvious choice due to being conveniently located within the city. You can watch the sunset while slowly paddling away on the calm and flat waters of the river, due to the fact that most of it runs at a speed that is perfect for beginners or people who simply want to take it easy. There are several places with rentals available that can get you in the water right away.
Greenbrier State Park
Greenbrier State Park is located in the Appalachian Mountains and has a man-made lake where visitors can enjoy many activities like boating, hiking, picnicking, swimming and more. The park also has campgrounds it is a great place for camping if you feel more adventurous and want to spend the night. Picnic tables, grills and even a camping store can be found here at the park for visitors to use.
Before the Anacostia River empties into the Potomac, it runs from Prince George’s County and along the southwest portion of the district. Kayaks and canoes are available for rental from Ballpark Boathouse. The river is beautiful and quiet, so it lends itself for easy navigation and a perfect spot for beginners to get started and learn the basics of canoeing and kayaking.
C&O Canal Boat Ride
The C&O Canal Boat Ride is a great way to take a historic trek down the canal on an 1870’s boathouse replica, like the ones used to transport lumber back then. This type a trip is a bit different from anything else on the list since it is more of a guided tour and you will not be doing any of the rowing or navigating yourself.
Located on the west side of the Potomac River, sits the Dyke Marsh near Alexandria in Virginia. Paddling here is ideal if you want something relaxed and easy to do, and the best part is that you do not have to bring your own kayak or canoe because they are readily available for rental on site.
Sandy Point State Park
Sandy Point State Park is located right on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and is a place that includes swimming, canoeing, boating and windsurfing. For those into fishing, the park also offers opportunities to do so if you are inclined. During the summer months this is a very popular destination for families to visit.
Great Falls is a place for experienced kayakers to enjoy and live the thrill of faster waters and some falls. The place has a few class V and class VI rapids right on the Potomac Gorge. Something to be mindful of, is the fact that you cannot enter this waters unless you have the right equipment and the knowledge to navigate them. Always be safe before anything else.
A great place for the whole family, the lake is about 6-acres and it has platforms, waterslides and floating rafts that make it a great place for swimming and having fun. Lifeguards are always on duty and the small entry fee gives you access to all the facilities as well as the picnic areas and the water playground.
A very large property with a 39-acre lake and plenty of space for swimming, a white sand beach and even some hiking trails for all visitors to enjoy. Paddle Boats and canoes are available for rental. Lake Arrowhead is located in Luray, Virginia.