Anacostia Park Washington DC is one of the city’s largest and most important parks. Located along the Anacostia River, it features numerous recreational opportunities, natural areas, and historic sites.

The land that is now Anacostia Park was once a series of swamp lands that were reclaimed in the early 20th century. This reclamation transformed the “flats” into riverside parks that are now Anacostia Park. Learn more by clicking here.

Park History

Anacostia Park Washington DC is a beautiful and historical park that has been shaped by many events. It’s also a great place to have fun, take your family on a picnic, go for a bike ride, skate or just enjoy the view!

While the park has a long history, the most important moments in its story are those that were fought for. The Civil Rights Movement and the integration of public schools were major developments that helped change the landscape of the park.

During the 1920s, construction of the cultural landscape in Section D began under landscape architect Irwin W. Payne. This area was envisioned as a segregated White-only recreation space that would be separated from the Black side of the park by the 11th Street Bridge.

Park Amenities

Located in the heart of DC, Anacostia Park offers recreational and natural amenities to suit everyone. This 440-acre space serves as a community center and provides access to nature, history, and culture.

The National Park Service (NPS) aims to keep the park well-maintained and safe for visitors. This requires thoughtful management of a diverse range of uses and users.

A thriving river provides the backdrop for all types of activities, whether you’re taking in the scenery on a leisurely walk or pursuing spirituality through meditation. With a variety of water trails, parks, and boat rentals along the Anacostia River, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun!

The park is also home to the Anacostia Golf Course, which features a driving range and 18 holes. You can enjoy the park by bike or on foot, or if you want to take it a step further, book an event at the Anacostia Playhouse. The theater is five blocks from the Anacostia Metro stop and features productions by local playwrights. Discover more exciting places here.

Park Activities

One of Washington DC’s largest recreation areas, Anacostia Park is an excellent resource for boating, fishing, and picnicking. Stretching along the Anacostia River, it covers over 1200 acres and includes Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Kenilworth Marsh, and Langston Golf Course.

The park’s facilities include baseball, basketball, and tennis courts, picnicking areas, a huge pavilion for roller skating and various events, and the 18-hole Langston Golf Course. The park also has three marinas and a public boat ramp.

You can also take a kayak or canoe tour along the Anacostia River. The river’s gentle flow and forested shoreline make it an ideal place for a canoe or kayak adventure.

Anacostia is also home to Frederick Douglass’ Cedar Hill, a national historic site that showcases the famous statesman’s ties to the neighborhood and the history of slavery in the United States. It is located just across the river from Lincoln Park. It’s a popular destination for tours and is well worth a visit.

Park Events

Across a river that stretches five miles from the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge to the District/Maryland line, Anacostia Park is a massive recreation area with over 1200 acres of recreational spaces. It includes Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens and Kenilworth Marsh, plus the enormous Anacostia Park Pavilion for roller skating and special events.

It’s also home to Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, which hosts films, festivals, and other events throughout the year. Tour the house of famed statesman Frederick Douglass atop Cedar Hill or visit the neighborhood’s natural landmarks, such as lotuses and water lilies in bloom, along the waterfront.

It’s easy to get involved in the neighborhood’s activities and events, whether by volunteering for a cleanup or joining an art project. You can find volunteer opportunities on our activity calendar or through our partner organizations. Browse the next article.



Driving directions from Couvrant to Anacostia Park

Driving directions from Anacostia Park to Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens