Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens | MARSH BOARDWALK

Boardwalk through the marsh at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Boardwalk through the marsh at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Length: .5 mile, round trip
Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: easy

An out-and-back boardwalk that leads to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens marsh is located at the far left corner of the gardens. While the boardwalk is a half-mile round trip walk itself, you do have to walk through the gardens to get to it, but the distance is negligible. In fact, I explored the gardens and took the boardwalk to the marsh and only walked about a mile in total. The terrain is flat and suitable for all ages and walking abilities. Even those in wheelchairs can see the gardens and the marsh as long as it has not been raining. The paths through the gardens are dirt and can get muddy if wet.

About a tenth of a mile from the start of the boardwalk is a branch that veers off to the left. It is not even a minute’s walk to the end, and there is an observation deck where you can look out over the marsh. Here you are surrounded by vegetation and can barely see any water.

Overlook at the end of the short boardwalk spur

Overlook at the end of the short boardwalk spur

Return back to the main part of the boardwalk and take a left. There is another observation deck at the end, just a few minutes ahead, and here you get a much better view. The marsh is tidal, so depending on the time that you visit, you may see water or nothing but mud. I arrived near low tide.

Overlook at the end of the Marsh Boardwalk

Overlook at the end of the Marsh Boardwalk

Kenilworth Park marsh near low tide

Kenilworth Park marsh near low tide

It’s a shame that there is so much trash in the marsh, though there is nothing much the National Park Service can do about it. With seven million people living in the Washington, D. C., area, the rivers are heavily polluted and filled with trash, so keeping garbage from washing into the marsh with each tide can’t really be prevented. I’ve set foot on similar terrain and sunk up to my knees in the mud, so there is no way anyone is going to walk out there to pick up trash.

It is possible to kayak or canoe in the marsh, but you must launch your trip at either the boat ramp at the south end of Anacostia Park or farther north at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. If you do make the trip, but sure you are out of the marsh before low tide rolls around, otherwise you will be stuck in deep mud for up to six hours.

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Last updated on April 26, 2020
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