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.
Kids will have a blast dipping their paddles into the water at places like Mason Neck, Riverbend Park, and Leonardtown, where easy launches, convenient on-site rentals, and gentle paddling routes make it simple to get out on the water with a family in tow.
Whether you’re seeking an urban retreat or a day trip away from the city, you can find a perfect place up and down the Potomac to paddle with kids:
- Did you know you can go paddling right in the city? Head to Key Bridge Boathouse or Georgetown Waterfront Park for a few hours of easy, fun paddling with kids, followed by lunch or dinner in family-friendly Georgetown. Just south of the city, the National Harbor also offers paddling in addition to shopping, games, and entertainment options.
- For a quieter paddling experience outside of the city limits, explore calm waterways like the Occoquan River or Dyke Marsh. These beginner-friendly routes also have on-site outfitters where you can rent all the gear you need.
- If you have older kids, paddling can be a course to history that pairs well with school lessons. Learn about the Potomac’s naval wartime battles at Fort Washington or Leesylvania State Park. Down at Westmoreland State Park, pair a guided paddle with a prehistoric creature fossil hunt along the park’s famous cliffs.
So pack a few snacks, load up your family, and head out for a paddling adventure at the top places to go paddling with kids.