Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Details

Distance

1.5 miles

Route Type

Loop

Added by Jenn Gonzalez

Visit the ponds and ponds full of beautiful lotus flowers, look for dragonflies, and walk the boardwalk to hunt for birds.

The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are a unique spot in Washington, D.C. The grounds are full of ponds, boardwalks, and a trail that connects you to the Anacostia River Trail. The main draw of this park are the ponds full of lotus flowers. During the summer months, they grow tall with colors ranging from white to deep pink. In other ponds, there are white, pink, and purple water lilies. One of the more exciting features later in the summer are the lily pads that grow up to 6 feet in diameter. 

For those who like to walk through swamps/marshes, you stay towards the left part of the park and eventually come to a boardwalk. It will take you out over the marshy area where you can spot a range of different birds. If you'd like to bike in along the Anacostia River Trail, you can do that as well.  The trail connects to the park. There is little shade in the park so come prepared with sunscreen and/or hat.

Although the park advertises its opening at 9:00 am, you can actually arrive as early as 7:00 am. There is no fee to visit the park. Because Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are a national park, there are Park Ranger Programs available for all.  

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Know for

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby

Reviews

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🥇Top Contributor

6 months ago

Don't know why it took me so long to come here...

Amazing little park. The flowers are gorgeous and its a wonderful spot to come and take photos. I'm not sure as to why I had never been before, but was stoked that I went earlier this year! Check it out if you've got the time.

Beautiful & Unexpected

Beautiful park. The walk is nice, generally flat, wheelchair accessible (grass & dirt), & is well maintained; but, these are AQUATIC gardens, expect to get wet or muddy feet possibly. I’ve seen a lot of women in nice leather sandals upset because they stepped in puddles & mud on the trails. They are heavily dependent upon volunteers for pond maintenance; please volunteer if you have time (help is especially needed thru the winter/early spring times)! The ranger led walks are a perfect way to start your visit; walk thru on the tour & then wander back through to take photos. They do have a Passport stamp so bring your NP Passports. A few picnic tables are located in a tree shaded area on the other side of the visitor center.

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4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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