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Anacostia Park

Anacostia Park is one of Washington, D.C.'s most important and largest recreation areas and it is operated by the United States National Park Service. It is situated on over 1200 acres of land (4.9 km²) at multiple sites and It is on the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.  The Kenilworth Marsh and the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens are both included in Anacostia Park. In the Park, there's hundreds of acres of land available for picnicking, ballfields, basketball, tennis, etc and in the Park Pavilion, there's 3300 square feet (307 m²) of space for special events and roller skating. The Langston Golf Course which is also included in the Park, offers an 18-hole course as well as four boat clubs, a driving range, three concession-operated marinas, and in addition to the boat clubs, there's also a public boat ramp that provides for access to the tidal Anacostia River for recreational boating. In addition to the plethora of recreational and sports activities you can engage in within the Anacostia Park, fishing in the Anacostia River is also allowed from within the park.

The headquarters of the United States Park Police helicopter aviation unit called Eagles' Nest as well as the headquarters of National Capital Parks-East is also located in Anacostia Park. 

A person jogging in the park

Its Unique Location

Starting near its confluence with the Potomac River, the Anacostia Park is a narrow stretch of land along both sides of the Anacostia River. On the southern shore of the park boundary, there's the Frederick Douglass Bridge while the 11th Street Bridge is on the northern shore of the park boundary. Ending at the Washington-Maryland border, the park runs north for five miles. However, the southern end on the south side of the river is where most of the facilities and sports fields are located. You can enter into the Anacostia Park either through Good Hope Road, Howard Road, or Nicholson Road.


The River Terrace Park unit, which is along the Washington-Maryland border, is situated farther north, but still on the south side of the river. The River Terrace Park also has a lot of spaces for recreational activities including basketball and tennis courts, a children’s playground and a ball field. Access is along Anacostia Avenue from Benning Road to the East Capitol Street Bridge. Parking is on the street.


The Langston Golf Course earlier mentioned as one of the places in Anacostia Park, is located just north of the RFK Stadium on the north side of the Anacostia River. It was built in 1939 and was initially for black golfers, but today it is open to everyone. The rest of the park hosts nothing more than two private marinas and a paved, multi-use trail—the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail—that runs the length of the park’s shoreline on both sides of the river.


Originally, the Anacostia River was developed for commercial use, but it stopped being used for that in the late 1800s because the shipping lanes was clogged with silt. After this happened, the river was dredged and the dirt from the dredging was used to fill in the surrounding marsh in the early part of the 1900s and then the park was created. The project lasted for over twenty years, but finally, the Anacostia Park was opened in 1933 under the management of the National Park Service and now it is part of the National Capital Parks East unit of the National Park system. The Anacostia Park mainly caters to its local residents, and it would be of no interest to tourists visiting Washington, District of Columbia in most cases.


Open Every Day - Go Visit!

Although certain facilities such as the swimming pool and the skating rink have their own operating hours which are usually based on season, the Anacostia Park's public grounds are open everyday from morning to night time. Using the facilities and grounds at Anacostia Park is Free and requires no fee. However, permits are required for certain activities such as hosting an organized sports league or a large picnic. 

Another place of interest: Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

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