Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

District of Columbia

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This is a short hike but well worth the time to see the amazing water flowers and plants that grow in this marsh. The trail winds around several ponds and out to the marsh that joins the Anacostia River. The gardens contain an array of ponds with thousands of blooming water flowers, including several varieties of water lilies. These bloom in the late spring and summer and are best during the morning before temperatures get too hot—they tend to close up if it reaches over 90 degrees. The park is popular with birders, who look for rails, sparrows, and blackbirds. Ducks and Canada geese are very abundant and easy to spot. Several types of wildlife also reside in the park including frogs, turtles, muskrats, and beavers; and butterflies and dragonflies buzz around the marsh pools. Boardwalks lead out to the mudflats right along the river. Look for great blue herons and other water birds as you walk out there. On the Marsh and River Trail, walk between the Kenilworth Marsh and a wooded swamp to the end, where the two meet the Anacostia River. Many people visit the area by canoe, so you might see some on the river.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Professional Review and Guide

"This is a short hike but well worth the time to see the amazing water flowers and plants that grow in this marsh. The trail winds around several ponds and out to the marsh that joins the Anacostia River. The gardens contain an array of ponds with thousands of blooming water flowers, including several varieties of water lilies. These bloom in the late spring and summer and are best during the morning before temperatures get too hot—they tend to close up if it reaches over 90 degrees.

The park is popular with birders, who look for rails, sparrows, and blackbirds. Ducks and Canada geese are very abundant and easy to spot. Several types of wildlife also reside in the park including frogs, turtles, muskrats, and beavers; and butterflies and dragonflies buzz around the marsh pools. Boardwalks lead out to the mudflats right along the river. Look for great blue herons and other water birds as you walk out there. On the Marsh and River Trail, walk between the Kenilworth Marsh and a wooded swamp to the end, where the two meet the Anacostia River. Many people visit the area by canoe, so you might see some on the river."

Activity Type: Hiking
Distance: 2.1
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: 1900 Anacostia Dr. SE, Washington, D.C. 20020; (202) 426-6905; www.nps.gov/keaq
Local Maps: A National Park Service map at www.nps.gov/keaq/planyourvisit/maps.htm. Maps are also available at the visitor center.
Driving Directions: Directions to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

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May 2018