At last, you can get to East Potomac Park easily and without charge. The new electric-powered Jitney boat, seating up to six passengers, leaves on request from the end of the 7th St., SW Recreation Pier at The Wharf. It glides across Washington Channel within a few minutes, and life jackets are accessible as needed. Jitney passengers disembark on a new 60-foot concrete floating pier along the retaining wall of the park, which is also used to tie-up kayaks, water boards and small motor boats.
There are a variety of recreational facilities within walking distance of the pier. A paved drive circles around Hains Point peninsula, which is technically an island. The three mile loop is ideal for bicyclists, joggers and in-line roller skaters. The sidewalk along the waterfront is a breeze for families with children, strollers and walkers with canes. Athletic fields are available for baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball. There are tables for picnickers and plenty of space along the retaining wall for fishermen and women.
Available to the public are outdoor and indoor tennis courts, a golf driving range, putting greens and the oldest miniature golf course still operating in the country. The East Potomac Blue Golf Course has 18 holes of play. The Red Golf Course has nine holes, as does the White Golf Course for families. Golf carts are available with purchase of green fees for easy travel around the three courses that feature views of monuments, the airport and waterway activity.
The clubhouse has a pro shop for golf equipment, public restrooms and the Potomac Grille for snacks or a light meal on the veranda overlooking the golf area. A new enlarged Olympic-size heated swimming pool, with spectator areas and dressing rooms, will open in May 2019. It is operated by The District of Columbia Recreation Department.
Conceptual plans for The Jitney and national park dock were developed in cooperation with executives of PN Hoffman and a team of staff members of the National Park Service. The Jitney ride is complimentary, thanks to the Wharf Community Association, a non-profit organization that manages public spaces near The Wharf.
For more information, including hours of operation, visit https://www.wharfdc.com/getting-here/wharf-jitney/.
BY Bill Smart