Travel reviews by
Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Based on 5 traveler reviews
Very good outdoor and water activities and small historical park. Bad neighborhood.
Aug 24, 2014 by: MajorComment from McLean, Virginia
If the general area around Bladensburg Waterfront Park were more appealing, I would have rated the park very good. The best I can muster, though is 'average' based on the unsavory surroundings and uncivil behavior of the locals. THE PARK DAY TO DAY The Bladensburg Waterfront Park itself is quite nicely laid out and well maintained. It offers a number of outdoor and water activities families and the athletically inclined can enjoy. Around the park is signage explaining the history of the town and the significant War of 1812 battle that preceded the destruction of the nation's capital. On site is an attractive small museum where you can get up close to displays. SPECIAL EVENT - WAR OF 1812 BATTLE COMMEMORATION I attended the special event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bladensburg. That included battle reenactors, a section for people demonstrating activities (crafts, music, etc.) from the early 1800s, and separate sections for booths of vendors of modern crafts, food, and far more local historical societies than I imagined existed relevant to the topic of the War of 1812 in Maryland. All in all, the event was interesting, though it rained heavily at times and attendee turnout was low. (For what it's worth, I overheard an event planner state at the end of the day he estimated 2,000 visitors attended, which he believed would have been 8,000 on a sunny day. I was at the event all day, waiting out the rain much of the time, and I simply can't imagine that 2,000 people came and went for the event. That's unfortunate because ample professional staff, volunteers, vendors and demonstrators were on site. From the nearly empty battle campsites, though, it looked like many of the battle reenactors did not show up either.) A particularly undesirable downside of the special event was parking, which required leaving your vehicle a mile away in another town and riding a shuttlebus to Bladensburg Waterfront Park. That demanded extra time and inconvenience. BEWARE The general industrial/commercial/retail areas within a mile or so of Bladensburg Waterfront Park are unappealing. I would not want to spend any time around there going to a restaurant or shopping. At the park, I noticed one sobbing woman speaking with a policeman about items being stolen from her vehicle. The general area is not a neighborhood were I would leave a dollar bill lying on the dashboard of my parked car without expecting to find a smashed window and missing money upon return. Plus, I encountered a disproportionate number of people who drove aggressively and foolishly on the local streets--speeding, weaving through traffic, running red lights. I counted four cars run through an already red light at one intersection, and almost got slammed by a tractor trailer that made a left turn in front of me through a red light after approaching the intersection with no evident intention of stopping. The light for me had been green about 5 seconds, but fortunately I had not yet fully entered the intersection because 3 cars had just run the same red light in front of me. Throughout the area, dozens of jaywalkers (locals, not park visitors) were heedless of oncoming traffic and simply stepped into the streets willy nilly, essentially demanding that oncoming drivers brake to a dead stop from driving speed for their convenience.
Was hoping for More!
Jul 29, 2014 by: John P from Fairfax, Virginia
We anticipated a much larger museum and historical information center when we drove here to try to understand this area's significance during the War of 1812. Disappointing!
Walks of explorations
Jul 02, 2014 by: Walksofexplorations from Takoma Park, Maryland
Every Friday we go on "walks of Explorations" . We went here and enjoyed our walk tremendously. Walked past a working quarry on one of the trails and went over the bridge and walked by the water. They have boats for rent and covered picnic area. A nice bathroom and water fountains and drink machine Lots of historic signs that give the story of this port that I never knew existed. A nice way to learn history!
Sep 02, 2013 by: Helen B from Chevy Chase, Maryland
For $16, you can rent a kayak for a whole day and explore the Anacostia River. We paddled downstream to the arboretum, then explored Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. It was very peaceful and felt like a vacation. We saw herons and egrets and geese and ducks...and turtles. Other people had rented pedal boats and were fishing. A very nice park...in a place most people wouldn't think to look.
Oct 09, 2012 by: DCLizzy from HYATTSVILLE
This sweet gem of a park is tucked away in Bladensburg, MD, near Northeast D.C. For families with young children, this small park offers a playground to occupy kids while parents enjoy a view of the tidal waters of the Northeast Branch. For families or anyone else who enjoys biking or a long walk, the park offers an entrance to an extensive bike-trail system heading both North and South. In season, canoes and kayacks can be rented here and Naturalist-led pontoon boat rides are another engaging option. In addition, a nature center offers some events here and on some summer evenings bands perform.
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