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Riverwalk FAQs


Allowing Another Person to Gain Access Using Your I.D. is Prohibited


What is the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail?
A: It is a new 20-mile trail that runs on both sides of the Anacostia River. The 10-12 foot wide trail is a recreation amenity and transportation alternative. The Washington Navy Yard portion opened for limited public access on April 1, 2011.

Q: What time does the Riverwalk open?
A: The Washington Navy Yard Riverwalk is open 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. However, exceptions will be made to hours of operation when closures are mandatory to complete Navy operations.

Q: How can I find out when the Riverwalk is closed to the public?
A: The Riverwalk has its own Twitter account where closures are posted in a timely manner. Follow the WNY Riverwalk Twitter link below for more information.

  Riverwalk Twitter

Q: Can visitors enter the Washington Navy Yard from the Riverwalk?

A: When the Riverwalk is open, only pedestrians with a valid DoD ID card will be able to access the Washington Navy Yard through several turnstiles located along the trail.

Q: How can visitors gain access to the Washington Navy Yard?
A: Access for non-ID card holders will continue to be through the Visitors Center, located at the intersection of O Street and 11th Street SE, Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and through the gate located at M Street and 6th Street SE at all other times.

Q: I have a DoD ID card and plan to use the Riverwalk/Washington Navy Yard turnstile. How do I operate it as a first time user?
A: If it is your first time using a turnstile:

  1. Hold your card so the back is facing left and the bar code (not the “credit card strip”) is inserted in the reader.
  2. Swipe your card up or down (direction does not matter). Reader will say “Card Not Enrolled”
  3. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  4. You will hear a “click” when the turnstile is activated. You have 5 seconds to push the turnstile for entry before it re‐locks.

Q: What happens if I don’t enter the turnstile immediately and I am locked out?

A: The system will not allow your card to gain access multiple times, so be ready to enter the turnstile immediately after swiping your card. If your card is locked out of the system, you must proceed to the O Street gate for weekday access and the 6th Street gate for weekend access.

 Q: Can I ride my bike or roller blade on the Riverwalk?
A: No. Bike riding, rollerblading, skateboarding, or scooter use is not permitted. The pedestrian bridge that makes up part of the Navy Yard's Riverwalk is narrow, and cannot support intermingled pedestrian and any type of vehicular traffic. Child strollers and wheelchairs are allowed.

Employees exiting through turnstiles onto the Riverwalk will not have immediate situational awareness of their surroundings, and may not see oncoming vehicular traffic in time to avoid a collision. The reverse would be true for someone who is on a bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades or scooter who would suddenly be confronted with a pedestrian that emerged from a turnstile. This is a safety concern as collisions would be unavoidable.

Q: Why are some rules different than other sections of the Riverwalk Trail?
A: The Washington Navy Yard section of the Riverwalk is on a federal facility. The Washington Navy Yard Commanding Officer has the responsibility to regulate use of the Riverwak so that it does not interfere with the operational needs of the base and is consistent with requirements for public safety. 


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