4 Reasons to Paddle with Potomac Conservancy

Happy Hours at bars are boring. Spend your Wednesday nights on the water.


Every summer, Potomac Conservancy invites residents from all communities to get their Feet Wet for Clean Water. At these “Alternative Happy Hours” (trade in crowded bars for open water!) participants enjoy a relaxed, evening paddle on the Potomac River.

One of our favorite, frequent paddlers, Brittany Pruitt, took over our Instagram account at a recent event to share her kayaking experience. Brittany is an avid adventurer, member of DC EcoWomen, and advocate for black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC) in outdoor recreation. Follow along with her story to discover 4 reasons to paddle with the Potomac Conservancy this summer (or next summer)!

Follow along with Brittany’s Paddle Experience! Photos Courtesy of BRITTANY PRUITT

Follow along with Brittany’s Paddle Experience! Photos Courtesy of BRITTANY PRUITT


Reason #1: It costs less than a cocktail

A regular boat rental in DC can cost anywhere from $16-$22 per hour! Guided kayak tours can cost around $50, making them prohibitively expensive for many residents. Potomac Conservancy makes kayaking affordable and accessible by offering two hours of paddling for a flat fee of only $10. All you need to do is register online and select a single kayak, double kayak, or stand-up paddle board. It’s the perfect time to try something new — if you’re a first-time or novice paddler, we’ll provide instructions so you can feel safe and smart while on the water.


Reason #2: You’ll have an amazing view of the DC skyline

During her Instagram takeover, Brittany cruised by iconic sites like the Kennedy Center, Georgetown waterfront, and Lincoln Memorial (all while avoiding DC traffic!).

Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial site and wildlife oasis dedicated to America’s 26th president, is another gem to pass on your paddle. You can easily circle the entire island, which hosts diverse plant species such as the Pawpaw tree and a variety of pines. Run by the National Park Service, the island also provides a lesser-known history lesson about President Roosevelt’s push to preserve green spaces throughout the country.


Reason #3: It’s the perfect friend-date

Escape rooms and happy hours can be fun… but they can also be expensive and cliché. Kayaking is the perfect activity for your next friend-outing. Brittany enjoyed her paddle experience with two friends and noted that, “there’s no greater bonding experience than hopping in a boat and watching the sunset on the city with some of your favorite people.” Research also proves that being outside is great for reducing stress and increasing happiness. Kayaking with friends is a win-win!


Reason #4: It’s a diverse and inclusive space for all

Potomac Conservancy is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive movement for all the people that live along and depend on the Potomac River. Each paddle event features a co-host organization that also works to address the lack of diversity in the environmental space. This summer, the co-host lineup includes groups such as Corazon Latino, Outdoor Afro, and Green Muslims. After all, the Potomac can’t be our happy place unless it is a safe and open space for all!


Now that you know what Paddle the Potomac is all about, it’s time to get your feet wet! Join Potomac Conservancy and the National Parks Conservation Association on August 14th for the last paddle of the season. Register today!


P.S. You can see the rest of Brittany’s takeover in our Instagram highlights. And if you join us for a paddle, make sure to share your experience with others on social media and tag us — you might be featured in our stories!


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