paddles at thompson boat center

Thompson Boat Center

Daily Update

Status ImageOn 7/22/2017, our Thompson location We are open. All rentals will begin at 8:00 AM.

A Fun, Relaxing Way To Explore the Capitol Riverfront

Avoid the lines at our popular Key Bridge location and travel just down the road to Thompson Boat Center. Whether you’re looking to explore great national monuments, experience peaceful moments reflected in the calm waters, or learn a new skill and get fit, Thompson Boat Center is your destination in our nation’s capital. We invite you to kayak, canoe, row, or bike to your heart’s content in and around Washington, DC.

Many of our boaters love an early morning paddle where catching the sight of a young hawk swoop down from Roosevelt Island to catch a fish out of the Potomac. Or if you just want to get out on the water on your own terms, we offer a wide variety of boat rentals to get you out on your personal water adventure!



Bay sizing at Thompson Boat Center restricts inside storage or eight-man shells to four existing bays. The remaining six bays can accommodate a mixture of kayaks, canoes, singles, doubles and fours. Outside storage enhances our capacity for institutional boats (fours and eights) and is limited by the above criteria as well.

Private slips are considered small boats, no longer than 35′ and only stored indoors. Although many vessels vary in length and will fit in longer or shorter rated racks, slip charges are based on the longer of the two lengths. For example, single racing shells can vary in length from 26′-28′; our single racing shell racks are rated at 27′.

Institutional slips are 100% rowing shells of 35′, 45′ and 58′; some are indoors and some are outdoors.

Interested in storing your boat at Thompson Boat Center? Complete the short Waitlist Form below.

Slip contract is for annual lease from April 1 – March 31.

Rack rate for stored boats is $2.59 per foot per month – annual contracts only.

Thompson Boat Center Rack and Cleat Diagrams:
Indoor Racks >
Outdoor Racks (Institutional Use Only) >
Dock Cleats (Facility/Team Use Only >

WSM Boat Storage Waitlist Request Form

Boat Storage Request Form

First
Last
Please choose either phone number or email as your method of contact. We will use that information to contact you when your name comes up.
If you are called or emailed and you do not respond within 48 hours, your name will be removed from the list. If you change your contact information, please remember to update this form!
Sending


A Regatta Application (PDF)* must be submitted by applicants seeking to hold a regatta at Thompson Boat Center.

Download Regatta Application

Required information:

  • Sponsoring Organization Information
  • Fee Requirements
  • Site Diagrams
  • Review of National Park Service Rules & Regs Pertaining to Thompson Boat Center

Fees:

Administration
Fees cover labor costs of Thompson Boat Center personnel during regatta planning and management. Separate fees are collected by the National Park Permitting Office.

Dockmaster
Fees cover labor costs of Thompson Boat Center personnel dockmaster duties including safety, orderliness and supervision of dock. A Dockmaster may be provided by the sponsoring organization but will be required to meet with the Thompson Boat Center Dockmaster prior to the event

Grounds Maintenance
Fees cover labor costs of Thompson Boat Center personnel required to maintain good housekeeping practices for grounds and facility during and after regatta.

Parking Support Personnel
Fees cover labor costs of Thompson Boat Center personnel required for parking lot supervision. Volunteers may be provided by the sponsoring organization but must check in with the MOD at the boat house prior to the arrival of participants. Additional fees will be incurred for larger events to provide the presence of a NPS Ranger in the lot during the event.

Portable Toilets
Covers cost of additional portable toilets to support regatta attendants.

Additional Trash Service
Covers cost of increased trash removal generated by regatta. Also supports the Environmental Mission of the National Park and Concessionaire in recycling products wherever possible.

National Park Service Rules & Regs Pertaining to Thompson Boat Center:

36 CFR 5.3: Business operations
Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, except as such may be specifically authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area, is prohibited.

36 CFR 7.96 (h): Soliciting
Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services is prohibited.

36 CFR 7.96 (k): Sales (1)
No sales shall be made nor admissions fee charged and no article may be exposed for sale without a permit except as noted in the following paragraphs.
(2) The sale or distribution of newspapers…without the aid of stands.
(3) The sale or distribution of newspapers…from fixed locations within the Kennedy Center.

36 CFR 2.13: Fires
(a) The following are prohibited:
(1) Lighting or maintaining a fire, except in designated areas or receptacles and under conditions that may be established by the superintendent.
(2) Using stoves or lanterns in violation of established restrictions.
(3) Lighting, tending, or using a fire, stove or lantern in a manner that threatens, causes damage to, or results in the burning of property, real property or park resources, or creates a public safety hazard.
(4) Leaving a fire unattended.
(5) Throwing or discarding lighted or smoldering material in a manner that threatens, causes damage to, or results in the burning of property or park resources, or creates a public safety hazard.


Activities

You’ll quickly see why people love spending the day at Thompson Boat Center. Between kayaking, biking, and fishing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Float Plan Agreement
All boat renters need this form at our boathouse locations and we encourage you to print and fill it out ahead of time so you have more time in the water!

Directions


To Commercial Parking lot at Wisconsin Avenue and to Thompson Boat Center

From Wisconsin Ave. heading south:

Between 6:30am – 4:15pm weekdays and weekends

Follow Wisconsin Avenue south to K St NW, also known at that point as Water St. Here the commercial parking lot is directly ahead of you next to the River.

If you are proceeding to the Thompson parking lot, turn left on K St. and proceed east through several stop signs, moving into the right-hand lane. As K St. begins to climb uphill, you’ll see a small underpass on the right. Follow this onto Rock Creek Parkway and take an immediate right into the Thompson Boat Center Parking lot.

Thompson Boat Center cannot be accessed easily using Whitehurst Freeway between 6:30am and 9:30am weekdays.

From Wisconsin Ave. heading south and Whitehurst Freeway off of Canal Rd./MacArthur Blvd. heading east:

Between 4:15pm – 6:30pm weekdays

Follow Wisconsin Avenue south to K St. NW, also known at that point as Water St. Turn left on K St. and proceed east through several stop signs, moving into the right-hand lane. Continue on K St. as it begins to climb uphill. At the light at top of hill turn right. Follow into left lane 1/8 mile and turn left before the Chevron on left. (From Whitehurst Freeway follow signs for Rt. 66) Get in the left lane and continue to veer into left lanes as the road turns from two lanes into four lanes. After 1/2 mile you’ll be at a point where you can U-turn or go across upper part of Rock Creek Parkway. The following is tricky: You must cross over this road turning right and end up in the farthest left lane. At this time of day, all traffic is traveling from your left to your right. Watch for cars but make sure you are in the left lane. Continue to veer into left lanes as the road splits several times. You should end up in the lane closest to the Potomac River, traveling in front of the Kennedy Center. After 1/2 mile you will get to the Thompson Boat Center parking lot stoplight, turn left into the Thompson lot.

From Rock Creek Parkway headed south:

Between 6:30am – 9:30am weekdays:

Follow Rock Creek Parkway to the corner of Virginia Ave. near the Watergate Complex and turn right at light into Thompson Boat Center parking lot.

Thompson Boat Center cannot be accessed using Rock Creek Parkway heading south between 4pm and 6:30pm weekdays.

From the junction of 95 North and Washington Beltway (Memorial Bridge):

Between 9:30am – 4:15pm, after 6:30pm weekdays, and weekends anytime:

Take 395 North toward DC. Look for Memorial Bridge signs and get in right lane exiting onto the route that passes west of the Pentagon. Continue north until you reach Memorial Bridge. Cross Memorial Bridge in the right lane. Bear right in front of the Lincoln Memorial and take the first right turn onto Rock Creek Parkway. Get in the right lane. After about 1/4 mile veer to right turnoff towards Rt. 66/E St./Whitehurst Freeway/Rock Creek. After turnoff stay in the left lane and follow Whitehurst/Rock Creek signs. Lanes split two left, two right. Stay in left lanes. Turn left at intersection heading towards Watergate Complex, turning right onto Virginia Ave. Get in left lane and cross over Rock Creek Parkway at green light into Thompson Boat Center parking lot.

Between 4:15PM – 6:30PM Weekdays:

Take 395 North toward DC. Look for Memorial Bridge signs and get in right lane exiting onto the route that passes west of the Pentagon. Continue north until you reach Memorial Bridge. Cross Memorial Bridge in the right lane. Bear right in front of the Lincoln Memorial and take the first right turn onto Rock Creek Parkway. Get in left lane and continue to veer into left lanes as the road splits several times. You should end up in the lane closest to the Potomac River, traveling in front of the Kennedy Center. After 1/2 mile you will get to the Thompson Boat Center parking lot stoplight; turn left into the Thompson parking lot.

From Rt. 66 headed east:

Between 6:30am – 9:30pm

From Rt. 66 cross Roosevelt Bridge get into left most lane. Before the end of bridge follow left lane towards Whitehurst Freeway/Rock Creek Parkway. You will go through a long underpass/tunnel. Stay in left lane turning left towards Rock Creek Parkway; take an immediate right towards K Street getting in the left lane. Turn left into the center part of Whitehurst Freeway underpass; you should be heading down under the freeway. You will have to make a legal U-turn at some point. After U-turn, move into the right-hand lane. As K Street begins to climb up the hill ahead of you, on the right you will see a small underpass. Follow this onto Rock Creek Parkway and take an immediate right into Thompson Parking lot.

Between 9:30am – 4:15pm, after 6:30pm weekdays, and weekends anytime:

From Rt. 66 cross Roosevelt Bridge get into left most lane. Before the end of bridge follow left lane towards Whitehurst Freeway and Rock Creek Parkway. After 1/4 miles keep following left lane and Whitehurst/Rock Creek signs. Lanes split into two left and two right. Stay in left lanes. Turn left at intersection heading towards Watergate Complex, then turn right onto Virginia Ave. Get in left lane and cross over Rock Creek Parkway at green light into Thompson Boat Center parking lot.

Between 4:15pm – 6:30pm weekdays:

From Rt. 66 cross Roosevelt Bridge get into right most lane. Take right exit for Independence/Maine Ave. Do not go to the end of the bridge to Constitution Ave. You must cross over Rock Creek Parkway, turning right, and end up in the farthest left lane. At this time of day, all traffic is traveling from your left to your right. Watch for cars but make sure you are in the left lane. Continue to veer into left lanes as the road splits several times. You should end up in the lane closest to the Potomac River, traveling in front of the Kennedy Center. After 1/2 mile you will get to the Thompson Boat Center parking lot stoplight, turn left into the Thompson lot.

Directions to other area parking lots in the vicinity if Thompson Boat Center is full:

Between 9:30am – 4:15pm, after 6:30pm weekdays, and weekends anytime
(Washington Harbor and Harbor Parking)

Make a left onto Rock Creek Parkway out of TBC parking lot. Quickly move to the right lane, and take the first exit ramp to the right. (It comes up very quickly, and it is a sharp turn). At the end of the ramp, make a right onto K Street (also called Water Street). When you make this right, you should go down underneath the Whitehurst Freeway. Be sure not to make an immediate right up onto the Whitehurst Freeway. Go straight on K Street (Water Street); the Washington Harbor Parking garage is on the left inside building. Further down K Street (Water Street) at Wisconsin Avenue, there is another lot called Harbor Parking.