The Potomac River runs 405 miles making up part of the border between Maryland and Washington, D.C. The river is the fourth largest along the Atlantic coast and the 21st largest in the United States. Nicknamed the "Nation's River" by President George Washington, it brings together history and cultures from the coal miners in West Virginia to the estates of the nation's capital in D.C.
All Kinds of Boating
- Fletcher's Boathouse on the Potomac River is one of the many who offer boat rentals. Open from early March through the fall, it is a great place to rent rowboats, canoes, kayaks and even bicycles. You can also get bait and tackle to try your luck at some of the best fishing anywhere.
- Atlantic Kayak Company also offers kayak rental and tours. Offering a unique kayaking experience off the beaten path.
- Potomac Paddle Sports not only rents but also offers lessons and skill clinics.
- Boating in DC at National Harbor offers pedal boat rentals as well as kayaks, canoes and paddle boarding.
Biking Around the River
- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail has bike trails that follow paths along the river for a picturesque view, especially at sunset.
- The Potomac Tour is a 10-mile bike route that follows the recreation paths along the Potomac River Shores. You can also view major monuments in DC on this tour.
- Mount Vernon Trail is a 36-mile wonderful bike trail along the Potomac River to visit George Washington's Estate.
Just for Fun
- You will soar 180 feet high above the scenic Potomac River on The Capital Ferris Wheel at National Harbor. You can see the White House, Capitol, Arlington Cemetery and more.
- Exceptional fishing on the Potomac has seen records been set and broken among fishermen. What better way to see the river than in a boat, catching fish? Five pound bass are common. How about a 100 pound catfish? An invasive species of snakehead has also inhabited the river, with one angler catching a record-breaking seventeen pound snakehead fish!
These, and many other ways, to see the Potomac River are just waiting for you.
If Hiking Is Your Thing
- Great Falls Billy Goat Trail has varying heights and conditions for any hiking level alongside the Potomac River. Several short trails let you enjoy a couple of hours outside, while the steep sheer cliffs offer a challenge to the seasoned hiker.
- Millennium Trail is a 10 mile paved trail that goes along the river, great for hiking or running.
- Great Falls and the Potomac Gorge is the area that has many respectable hiking trails for beginners or mid-level hikers. The views of the Potomac River and the fresh air are uplifting.
Festivals and Events
- Spring Wine Festival and Sunset Tour is located at the historic estate of George Washington's Mount Vernon, situated along the Potomac River. This is one of the most popular events of the year. Sample wines from 20 of Virginia's finest wineries while enjoying spectacular views from Mount Vernon.
- Potomac Jazz and Seafood Festival held in July each year, you can relax on the lawn, take in the gorgeous views, enjoy live jazz artists and an array of seafood delicacies on the riverside of the Potomac.
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