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.

2022 kayaking updates

DC Kayaking season extended one more weekend

Good news everyone, kayaking in the District of Columbia has been extended for one more weekend! Thompson Boat Center will be open for limited kayak…

2022 DC Kayaking ending soon

Strictly speaking, only three more weekends remain in the 2022 DC Kayaking season. Sunday, October 30 is likely the last day for kayak rentals in…

Fall 2022 DC Kayaking update

The last third of the 2022 DC Kayaking season is underway. As always, the passing of Labor Day means the DC Kayaking map starts turning…

Kayaking: Bay Bridge Paddle scheduled for Sept. 25, 2022

The Bay Bridge Paddle returns Saturday, September 25, 2022. Launching from Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, there are three courses. Races, registration and rentals…

Summer 2022 Four Mile Run Kayak cleanups scheduled

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation announced 2022 kayak cleanups for through the month of June. Life vests, kayaks outfitted with baskets…

Over 20 DC area kayaking rental locations open for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional high tide of the DC Kayaking season. Across the region, most if not all kayak rental locations are open…
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DC Kayaking slideshow


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Whitewater kayaking

Other kayaking services, including whitewater, are available from several vendors upriver:

DC Kayak
Potomac Paddlesports, Potomac, Md.
Potomac River Outfitters, Several locations
River & Trail Outfitters, Harpers Ferry, W.V. and vicinity

Kayaking elsewhere

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.