The Anacostia River in Summer
The Anacostia river is a slightly flawed gem hidden
in the Washington DC metro area. Less than 9 miles long from
its Maryland headwaters to where it joins up with the Potomac
in southwest DC, parts are polluted with run down waterfront.
Other parts are being cleaned up and restored. In the 1990's
20 million dollars was invested in cleaning up the Bladensburg
waterfront. This included a garbage skimmer, the building of
a marina and park and measures to improve the water quality.
These have succeeded to the point where the upper Anacostia
is coming back to life. The number of fish species is increasing.
Waterfowl, including species on the top of the food chain such
as kingfisher, heron and osprey, are now a routine sight. Turtles,
watersnakes and frogs make up the visible reptile and amphibian
contingent. Beaver and muskrat also put in an appearance.
Johncanoe is a bateau.com Cheap
Canoe that I built last year. Launch and trials were at
the Bladensburg Marina. After our solo shakedowns, my wife and
I piled in with some minimal boating gear to see how it worked
as a 2-person boat. It worked very well. We started at the marina,
went downriver about 1 mile towards Washington and then upriver
again until the water got too shallow to navigate. Although
the freeboard was the lowest either of us had ever seen, the
boat handled the wind/tidal ripples and even a gentle motorboat
wake encounter with no problems. So 2-person cruising is a definite
possibility in a Cheap Canoe.
The Bladensburg Marina is located at the Bladensburg
Waterfront Park. There are rental canoes and rowboats, guided
pontoon-boat birdwatching tours, a fishing pier and a free boat
The riverbank south of the marina is wooded. When
in leaf, it's hard to believe that there's a major metropolitan
area just on the other side (at least until you get to the freeway
North of the marina the woods give way to flat
ground covered with reeds and grass. These are the Anacostia's
headwaters. Johncanoe had no seats at this point, but the front
occupant did have a fully-automatic, self-adjusting lumbar support.
This picture also answers the question, "Can the Cheap
Canoe hold 2 adults?"
Here we're doing our log impression (paddles out
of the water, no talking) and drifting toward a Great Blue Heron.
It may be a stealthboat, but he's getting suspicious.
Too close and he's off...