Paddle Notes

Top Places For

Top places to go paddling with kids on the Potomac River

The idea of canoeing or kayaking with kids may seem daunting ‒ you need the right equipment, and safety precautions are paramount. But there are many places on the Potomac River where paddlers of all ages can take off with ease.

October 11, 2017

From the Field

Kayak Touring on the Potomac

The Potomac is one of Chesapeake Bay’s “Five Fair Rivers,” mentioned by John Smith and is home to a large part of the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail. Chesapeake Paddlers Association has a long tradition of kayak touring on the Potomac. Ralph Heimlich has been trying to revive that interest.

July 18, 2017

In-Depth

Get on board for stand-up paddling

Stand-up paddle boarding came to the Chesapeake Bay region about seven years ago and shows no signs of waning. The sport is growing in popularity: There are paddle board races, paddle board team-building activities, paddle board yoga, paddle board youth camps and even a cool nickname for the sport — SUP.

May 22, 2017

In-Depth

Warm air masks coldwater dangers for paddlers

If you are determined to hit the water, don’t act on impulse. Plan ahead. Investigate a full range of safety gear and, most importantly, test it in the water, close to shore, with others present.

April 24, 2017

In-Depth

Fort Washington now a peaceful oasis just outside DC

From the heights of Fort Washington Park, the shores of the Potomac River frame the skyline of the nation's capital with the Washington Monument jutting toward the sky. Urban life can seem very far away.

February 2, 2017

From the Field

The Ghost Fleet at Mallows Bay

Located just 30 miles from Washington, D.C., Mallows Bay contains the largest collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. These shipwrecks have inspired explorers, writers, and conservationists to explore and experience this unique place and share the history.

September 15, 2016

Suggested Trip

It’s all great at Great Falls

There is more than one way to see Great Falls and the great fall colors that encompass this natural marvel on the Potomac River.

September 5, 2016

Suggested Trip

Turning kayakers into happy campers

Ralph Heimlich is a kayaker and Chesapeake Bay enthusiast who hates to put down his paddle. So when the cold days of the new year stall his watery sojourns, Heimlich does the next best thing: He plans paddle trips for spring.

February 22, 2016

From the Field

Paddle In to Westmoreland

Go with Ranger Lina to Westmoreland State Park as she visits with the all female crew of Virginia’s Youth Conservation Corps. The young women are building campsites that will give paddlers a place to pull over and spend the night on the shores of the Potomac River.

August 6, 2015

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