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Kingman and Heritage Islands

575 Oklahoma Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002

Dawn to Dusk


social-distancing, days-out-with-baby, outdoor-adventures, days-out-with-big-kids, days-out-with-little-kids, days-out-with-toddlers, run, hike, plans-for-kids, exercise-oriented-outings

For a nature break in Northeast DC, check out the district's historical Kingman and Heritage Islands.

Located alongside Anacostia Park, and near Kenilworth Gardens as well as the National Arboretum, this often overlooked wandering spot is great for some exercise or just quiet wandering with the kiddos. It has seen a lot of life and change over the years, and passed hands from the National Park Service to the District of Columbia in 1995. The park is managed by Living Classrooms, an organization devoted to experiential learning outside of the traditional classroom setting, especially for those who may not otherwise have access to such resources, and there is a section of the park devoted to this learning for the area's children on the Kingman Island Trail after you pass under the Capitol Street overpass. There are plans to develop the islands further to include a Visitor's Center, with restrooms and other features to bring even more purpose to the land.

For now, it is a great place to wander and hike with little ones, offering over a mile and a half of trails of manageable length and a variety of places to picnic. There are picnic tables tucked privately along the river's edge and an overlook where people were catching fish for release. Biking is permitted on the main trail on Kingman Island and over the boardwalk.

Boating is another way to explore the island either on canoes or using the dock access on the boardwalk connecting Kingman and Heritage Islands. If you are planning to come by boat, keep in mind that the waterways around the islands are tidal.

Take part in the Chronolog project to help track temporal changes on the islands by finding all seven posts (the map is available by the RFK entrance bridge) and take a picture with your phone and follow the directions on the post.

The entrance from the RFK Lot 6 parking lot is between the bike share and the athletic fields and the wonderful playground there is a fun place to visit before or after your hike!

Dogs on leashes are also welcome.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is less than ten minutes away for a sweet treat to cool off after a nice long hike and a variety of restaurants, including Due South are in The Yards Park along the Capital Riverfront less than 15 minutes in the other direction.

The closest metro is Stadium Armory Station. 


Good for All Ages Hiking Biking Bird Watching River views Nature Scenic Walk
Thoughtfully captured by:
Randi Banks
Randi (Betts) Banks grew up in New York and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She moved to Washington, D.C. more than thirteen years ago with her husband, Eaghmon, and they love to explore the area and seek out adventure, now with their two young children along for the ride. Growing up right near the beach, they are happiest when on or near the water, so exploring the rivers, lakes, and streams in the greater DC area is a favorite pastime for their family. In addition to serving as one of the Washington, DC area ambassadors, Randi is also the Editor in Chief and Co-founder of happyly.
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