Paddling is one of the best ways to truly appreciate Mason Neck’s deep woods and lush brackish marshes. The calm, sheltered waters of Belmont Bay and Kanes Creek beckon you to explore, relax, and enjoy what nature has to offer here on Mason Neck.
Located thirty miles south of Washington, D.C. on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, the “Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay” constitutes the largest assemblage of visible historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most unique paddling experiences in America.
Paddling along the shoreline near Westmoreland State Park offers stunning views of sandstone cliffs rising one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet above the Potomac River, quiet waters, and beaches strewn with shark teeth, shells, and other fossils.
Mattawoman Creek is a tidal-freshwater estuary representing approximately what the ideal conditions of a restored Chesapeake Bay would look like. The variety of local species make the creek a pleasant place to visit.
A paddle on the Occoquan River, departing from the Occoquan Regional Park, offers a serene trip and scenic views of the historic town of Occoquan.
Crow’s Nest is one of the few remaining undisturbed natural areas in the Mid-Atlantic, and the successful conservation of this 4000-acre peninsula was finally achieved in 2008.
The name of this park means "Lee's Woodland," and got its name after Confederate general Robert E. Lee placed artillery positions in the area in 1861. It's a good place to paddle, as well as a place of historical significance.
Point Lookout has witnessed seminal historical moments, and today, the peninsula makes for an ideal paddling destination
McIntosh run is a quick escape into nature and solitude. The creek is narrow in parts and tree covered, making for a peaceful paddle.
The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is the birthplace of several notable American political figures, including three presidents, and today can boast of beautiful bucolic scenery accessible to most kayakers.
Pastoral, undeveloped, and surrounded on 3 sides by water, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped onto the set of The New World or stepped back in time 300 years when you arrive on the peninsula of Newtowne Neck State Park.
National Harbor gives families and beginning paddlers the opportunity to get out on the water while also enjoying a full suite of shops, restaurants, and entertainment right on the shore.
A paddle out of Fort Washington Marina offers an entry into the Potomac with views of the historic Fort, as well as access to Piscataway creek for an off-the-river excursion.
A paddle downriver out of Fletcher's Cove offers natural views of the Potomac River, with the C&O Canal National Park on the left shoreline and the George Washington Memorial Parkway on the right shoreline.
The Georgetown Waterfront is a popular site for beginner paddlers in D.C., offering scenic views of the Watergate Hotel, the Kennedy Center, and Theodore Roosevelt Island.
The Key Bridge Boathouse, formerly called Jack's Boathouse, is an iconic paddle craft rental located on Washington, D.C. waterfront. Paddle upriver for natural scenery or downriver for the city scape of Arlington and skyline of Washington, D.C.
Belle Haven Marina’s kayak launch is perfectly located on the protected side of the point for easy access to paddle Dyke Marsh, one of the few remaining freshwater tidal wetlands on the Potomac.
Though Riverbend Park is the head of the Potomac Gorge, you don’t have to be a whitewater daredevil to get out on the river here.
Buoy location: near the mouth of the Potomac River
More Paddle Notes
Camp at Chippokes Plantation and take part in a full day of activities including a fishing tournament, fossil walk and canoeing.
Join the Sierra Club for a Park Ranger-led kayaking outing exclusively for Sierra Club Potomac participants to explore Theodore Roosevelt Island from the water!
See and experience historic Stratford cliffs from the Potomac River, and possibly glimpse a variety of birds and wildlife
Enjoy a river cruise to watch the log canoe races on the Miles River from our buyboat, Winnie Estelle.
St. Michaels, MD
Tour the headwaters of Bear Creek Lake after dark and learn some lunar lore.