D.C. Area Kayak Rentals
The 2023 DC Kayaking season
This year’s kayaking season is beginning later than 2022 – nothing is open as of March 23. A number of locations come online in mid-April while others open in May. By Memorial Day weekend most if not all locations will be open.
Up the creek with a paddle
Flat-water kayaking is a fun high-energy, low-impact exercise for most age groups. The waterways of the Washington, D.C. area offer a variety kayaking experiences at reasonable prices. Within a few miles of each other, kayakers can experience urban and bucolic settings. Many kayak rental locations are accessible by popular bike trails; some are even located near Metro and bus stops.
Rent a kayak near you!
Kayak rental locations open for the 2022 season are marked green, closed locations are marked red. The Potomac, Anacostia, Occoquan and Patuxent rivers as well as the Chesapeake Bay are included as well as several lakes. Several more locations have been added for 2022!
Operating hours are subject to change due to weather or other events, check ahead with before heading out. Many locations require online reservations as well.
Sea kayaking vendors
Kayaks can be rented from public and private entities throughout the greater D.C. area.
- Atlantic Kayak Co. – Indian Head, Md.
- Boating in DC (7 locations)
- CapitalSUP – Annapolis, Md.
- Fairfax County Park Authority
- Montgomery County Boating and Fishing
- Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority – several locations
- Penguin Paddling – Occoquan, Va.
- Prince George’s County Parks & Recreation, Bladensburg, Md.
- REI Kayaking Classes & Events near Washington DC
2022 kayaking updates
DC Kayaking slideshow
Tag your photos with #dckayaking.
Other kayaking services, including whitewater, are available from several vendors upriver:
Potomac Paddlesports, Potomac, Md.
Potomac River Outfitters, Several locations
River & Trail Outfitters, Harpers Ferry, W.V. and vicinity
When I travel, I try to get some paddling in.
About this kayaker
My introduction to kayaking came in 2013 in the Bahamas. In 2014, I kayaked in the Cheasapeake Bay for the first time and then again in 2015. My first DC kayaking was in 2016. I have also kayaked at the Jersey Shore, Chicago, Ocean City, Md. and the Susquehanna in Harrisburg, Pa.
In 2017, after an elbow injury, I sat out most of the summer from kayaking. However, after healing some, I went out in September and woke up the next day with my elbow feeling normal. The rehabilitative outcome led to more kayaking and shortly thereafter, I bought a season pass for 2018. I have been a weekly, in-season kayaker ever since.
While I endorse kayaking generally, I do not specifically endorse specific vendors. However, I have been a Penguin Paddling, Belle Haven Marina and Northern Virginia Regional Park authority customer and am a currently Boating in DC season passholder.