D.C. Area Kayak Rentals

The 2022 DC Kayaking season

This year’s kayaking season began on Saturday, March 19 . More 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

Kayak rentals return to Washington Sailing Marina in Alexandria on May 28

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — For the first time since 2019, Washington Sailing Marina will rent kayaks and paddleboards. The season is scheduled to open Memorial Day…

Kayaking: Two Maryland openings this weekend

Two Maryland Potomac River-adjacent kayak rental locations are opening for the 2022 season on May 7. Boating in DC – National Harbor (reservations required) Atlantic…

2022 DC Kayaking: Mid-April openings

Mid-April means more scheduled openings for kayak rentals in the greater Washington, D.C. area. The map is updated as new locations come online. The District…

DC kayaking: more locations opening for 2022 season

Two Fairfax County kayak rental venues are opening April 2. Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, Va Occoquan Regional Park, Lorton, Va. Locations already open Bladensburg…

An early start to the 2022 DC Kayaking season

Boating in DC opened two boathouses for kayaking rentals on Saturday, March 19. A banner at the top of their web site showed that Thompson…
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DC Kayaking slideshow


Tag your photos with #dckayaking.

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.