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DC Kayaking ยป Fairfax County

Fairfax County

WEB SITE: Fairfax County Government

2024 SEASON: Riverbend Marina is open Fridays through Sundays and Holiday.

  • Boating rentals begin on May 24 and end on September 2.

Reservations and advanced payment required.

Riverbend is the most upriver flat water kayaking along the Potomac River in Fairfax County. The current can be strong and since it’s only one mile from a dam, there are serious restrictions on where paddling is permitted.

In addition to kayaks, Riverbend offers canoes and standup paddleboards.

Getting there

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

Reston, Va.

WEB SITE: Reston Association

2024 SEASON: TBD

Previous seasons opened on Memorial Day weekend

Friday: 3 – 7 p.m.*
Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m. โ€“ 8 p.m.* 
Open Juneteenth and the Fourth of July 9 a.m.-8 p.m.* Last rental 1 hr. before closing

The Reston Association rents kaysk as well as pedal boats and standup paddleboards from Washington Plaza. Cash only, no reservations.

Getting there

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

News

  • Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional, cultural start of summer and when most if not all DC area kayak rental locations open for the season. The map gets really green! Washington, D.C. Every DC location to rent a kayak has already opened. Northern Virginia Opening this weekend Already open Maryland Opening this weekend Already open


  • Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    The last weekend of “summer” is also the final weekend many Washington, D.C. area kayaking locations are open. It’s a shame too, because September and October are also the best time of year for kayaking. Lower temperatures and dew points are a welcome respite after several months of hazy, hot and humid. Sadly, the DC…


  • 2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    Most kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse District Wharf Fletchers Cove Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne – not open July 3 Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required)…


Reston

WEB SITE: Fairfax County Government

2024 SEASON:
Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Kayaks and pedal boats are available for rent at Lake Fairfax. Shoreline fishing and water park features are also available.

Getting there

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

News

  • Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional, cultural start of summer and when most if not all DC area kayak rental locations open for the season. The map gets really green! Washington, D.C. Every DC location to rent a kayak has already opened. Northern Virginia Opening this weekend Already open Maryland Opening this weekend Already open


  • Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    The last weekend of “summer” is also the final weekend many Washington, D.C. area kayaking locations are open. It’s a shame too, because September and October are also the best time of year for kayaking. Lower temperatures and dew points are a welcome respite after several months of hazy, hot and humid. Sadly, the DC…


  • Memorial Day weekend means more places for DC Kayaking are open

    Memorial Day weekend means more places for DC Kayaking are open

    It’s a great time of year for DC kayaking. There are still ducklings and goslings (they grow up fast though) to paddle by. It’s not oppressively humid yet. Perhaps best of all, starting this weekend, there are more places to rent a kayak. The map is going to be very green! Washington, D.C. Northern Virginia…


Springfield

WEB SITE: Fairfax County Government

2024 SEASON:
May 28 โ€“ August 16: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Weekdays
May 25 โ€“ September 2: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Weekends and Labor Day Only

Last kayak rental 5:30 p.m.
Return 6:30 p.m.

The future of kayaking at this man-made lake is short! Sediment has filled the lake since it was dredged to 8 feet deep in 2008. Fairfax County is no longer willing to spend hundreds of million dollars (The Post – soft paywall) over the next 30 years to maintain the depth .

So, if you ever want to kayak here, don’t wait, 2024 could be the last opportunity.

One highlight is the old The Orange And Alexandria Railroad Trestle which remains active for VRE, Amtrak and freight trains.

Other amenities include pedal boats and bike rentals.

Getting there

๐Ÿšฒ – Cross County Trail- Cross County Trail

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

News

  • Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional, cultural start of summer and when most if not all DC area kayak rental locations open for the season. The map gets really green! Washington, D.C. Every DC location to rent a kayak has already opened. Northern Virginia Opening this weekend Already open Maryland Opening this weekend Already open


  • Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    The last weekend of “summer” is also the final weekend many Washington, D.C. area kayaking locations are open. It’s a shame too, because September and October are also the best time of year for kayaking. Lower temperatures and dew points are a welcome respite after several months of hazy, hot and humid. Sadly, the DC…


  • 2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    Most kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse District Wharf Fletchers Cove Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne – not open July 3 Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required)…


Burke

WEB SITE: Fairfax County Government

2023 SEASON: Scheduled to open Memorial Day

Two fishing kayaks are available for rent. A fishing license is required for rental.

Getting there

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

News

  • Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    The last weekend of “summer” is also the final weekend many Washington, D.C. area kayaking locations are open. It’s a shame too, because September and October are also the best time of year for kayaking. Lower temperatures and dew points are a welcome respite after several months of hazy, hot and humid. Sadly, the DC…


  • 2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    Most kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse District Wharf Fletchers Cove Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne – not open July 3 Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required)…


  • Juneteenth 2023 DC kayaking locations

    Juneteenth 2023 DC kayaking locations

    Several kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Juneteenth, Monday, June 19. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Fletchers Cove Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required) Fountainhead Regional Park Lake Accotink Lake Ridge Park…


Fairfax Station, Va.

WEB SITE: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

2023 SEASON:
March 11 -April 30: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
May 1 – 31 weekdays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
June 1 – August 31 daily: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
September 1 – 30 weekdays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
October 1 – November 11 daily: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority site, may have the longest kayak rental season in the area. Created by the damming of the Occoquan River, Fountainhead feels far removed from the bustling greater Washington, D.C. metro area.

Walk-up rentals are available.

Getting there

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

News

  • Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day 2024 DC area kayaking season openings

    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional, cultural start of summer and when most if not all DC area kayak rental locations open for the season. The map gets really green! Washington, D.C. Every DC location to rent a kayak has already opened. Northern Virginia Opening this weekend Already open Maryland Opening this weekend Already open


  • More kayak rental locations opening in DC, Northern Virginia April 20

    More kayak rental locations opening in DC, Northern Virginia April 20

    Several more Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia kayak rental providers are opening for the season. On April 20, Boating in DC is opening their Potomac River locations, Fletcher Cove (daily), Key Bridge (daily) and Thompson Boat Center (varies). District Wharf has been opened for three weeks already on weekends. In Northern Virginia, Penguin Paddling (daily)…


  • The 2024 kayaking season is starting in the DC area

    The 2024 kayaking season is starting in the DC area

    Winter is gone! It’s time to get out on the water and start paddling again. Over the next several weeks, kayak rental locations will slowly start opening again in the greater Washington, D.C. area. A few locations are already open: District Wharf will be the first inside the Nation’s Capital to open on March 29.…


Occoquan

WEB SITE: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

2024 SEASON:
April 1 – June 10 weekends: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June 11 – August 28 daily: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
August 19ย – October 31 weekends: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority site, there are limited, walk-up rentals available. The nearby Penguin Paddling, on the other side of the river, has more boats.

The Occoquan River is generally calm and narrow here, so it’s a good location for new kayakers. The town of Occoquan on the Prince William County side is scenic and there are bridges for VA 123, Interstate 95 and US 1 to paddle under. The water is tidal up until a dam just north of Occoquan.

Getting there

๐Ÿšฒ – Cross County Trail

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free 

News

  • More kayak rental locations opening in DC, Northern Virginia April 20

    More kayak rental locations opening in DC, Northern Virginia April 20

    Several more Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia kayak rental providers are opening for the season. On April 20, Boating in DC is opening their Potomac River locations, Fletcher Cove (daily), Key Bridge (daily) and Thompson Boat Center (varies). District Wharf has been opened for three weeks already on weekends. In Northern Virginia, Penguin Paddling (daily)…


  • Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    Labor Day is last chance for 2023 at some DC Kayaking locations

    The last weekend of “summer” is also the final weekend many Washington, D.C. area kayaking locations are open. It’s a shame too, because September and October are also the best time of year for kayaking. Lower temperatures and dew points are a welcome respite after several months of hazy, hot and humid. Sadly, the DC…


  • 2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    Most kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse District Wharf Fletchers Cove Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne – not open July 3 Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required)…


WEB SITE: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

2023 SEASON:
April 1ย – May 25 weekends: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
May 26ย – September 4: Fridays & Holidays – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
September 5ย – October 8: Saturday, Sunday & Holidays

Located in Gunston Cove, this NVRPA park offers kayaking and other paddle sports in a estuary of the Potomac River.

๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free

Alexandria, Va. (Fairfax County)

WEB SITE: saildc.com

2024 SEASON: April 28; May 4 – June 30, daily (after June 30 TBD)

Located south of the city of Alexandria, Belle Haven Marina has walk-up kayak rentals. The vibe is different than the locations further upriver. It’s not quite saltwater and you don’t feel like you are in DC any more. It’s kind of chill.

The boundaries are expansive too – from the Wilson Bridge to Fort Washington. The river is at least a mile wide too, so there is plenty of room to navigate.

Getting there

๐Ÿšฒ – Mount Vernon Trail
๐Ÿ…ฟ – Free

News

  • Atlantic Kayak Co. opens; paddle under vintage planes

    Atlantic Kayak Co. opens; paddle under vintage planes

    This week’s opening is Atlantic Kayak Co. in Indian Head, Md. Located on Mattawoman Creek, Atlantic Kayak also also tours of the Mallows Bay and its shipwrecks. Saturday flyover On Saturday, May 11, a dozens of vintage planes will be flying over several kayak rental locations. From Washingtonian: the planes will follow the Potomac River…


  • Thompson Boat Center gets extra weekend; outside the Beltway locations still open

    Thompson Boat Center gets extra weekend; outside the Beltway locations still open

    Friday evening, Boating in DC announced that Thompson Boat Center in Foggy Bottom will open for two more days. The news isn’t surprising – it seems to happen annually. It wouldn’t have hurt to have told everybody a little earlier. Other places to rent a kayak this weekend Don’t want to head into the District?…


  • 2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    2023 Independence Day DC kayaking

    Most kayak rental locations in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland are open for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. Washington, D.C. Ballpark Boathouse District Wharf Fletchers Cove Thompson Boat Center Key Bridge Boathouse Northern Virginia Belle Haven Marina Boat Rentals at Lake Anne – not open July 3 Burke Lake Park Marina (fishing license required)…