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Fletchers Boat House in Washington, DC


Fletchers Boat House in Washington, DC

Abner Cloud House

Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Fletchers Boat House is a bike and boat rental facility located on the Potomac River and the C & O Canal National Historical Park, between Chain and Key Bridges just minutes from downtown Washington, DC. The area is ideal for bicycling, boating, fishing, and picnicking.

Fletchers Boat House has been in this location since the 1850s. The nearby Abner Cloud House is the oldest building on the canal, dating back to 1802. After 145 years of business, the fourth generation of Fletchers retired in 2004 and Guest Services Incorporated, a National Park Service concessionaire, assumed responsibility for the operation of the concessions. The area surrounding the boat house was then officially named - Fletchers Cove, though most people still call it Fletcher's Boat House.

See Photos of Fletchers Boat House and Fletchers Cove

The location of Fletchers is unique because the Capital Crescent Trail and the C & O Towpath come together here and run parallel to one another. The Capital Crescent Trail is a 13 mile trail that runs from Georgetown to Silver Spring, Maryland. The C & O Towpath follows the Potomac River 184 miles between Georgetown and Cumberland, Maryland. The picnic area also lies between the Potomac River and the C & O Canal offering extraordinary views.

Fletchers Boat House Rates

Fishing License: $ 10(DC residents) $13(non-residents)
Kayak / Canoe Rentals: $8/hour $24/day
Rowboat Rentals: $11/hour $20/day
Bicycle Rentals: $6/hour $25/day

Driving Directions

Fletchers Boat House is located 2 miles North of Key Bridge and 1 mile South of Chain Bridge, at the intersection of Reservoir Road and Canal Road.

From 495, take the Glen Echo exit onto the Clara Barton Parkway. Follow the Clara Barton Parkway until it becomes Canal Road. Continue on Canal Road until the entrance of Fletchers at Canal and Reservoir. Fletchers is located on the right side of the road and you will see the Abner Cloud House, an old stone building next to the canal. The entrance is a 180 degree turn and there is not enough room to maneuver. You can not access the area southbound on Canal Road. From this direction, you& will have to pass the entrance and make a U-turn.

From 66 East, take the Rosslyn exit to Key Bridge. Turn left onto Canal Road after crossing over Key Bridge. Bear left at Foxhall to stay on Canal Road, and continue to the entrance of Fletchers at Canal and Reservoir. The entrance is on the left and you will see the Abner Cloud House, an old stone building next to the canal.


Parking is available on both sides of the canal. To reach the west side parking lot, go through the auto tunnel, which takes you under the canal.

Official Website


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