Benjamin Banneker Park

Benjamin Banneker Park is located at the southern end of L’Enfant Boulevard and is named for Banneker who was an African-American scientist and surveyor who helped to map out the city of Washington.

Entrance to Benjamin Banneker Park on 10th Street, SW, Washington, DC with fountain
Entrance to Benjamin Banneker Park on 10th Street, SW, looking south toward the Wharf
Photo by Fiona Clem ©2019

At the end of L’Enfant Boulevard (10th Street, SW) in Southwest DC there is a park dedicated to Benjamin Banneker.

Benjamin Banneker was an African-American scientist who worked with L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott to map out the city of Washington. Banneker became a mathematician, astronomer, inventor, and writer. Benjamin Banneker was born in 1731 and died in Baltimore in 1806.

Benjamin Banneker Park on 10th Street, SW, looking north toward L'Enfant Plaza and the Forrestal Building
Benjamin Banneker Park on 10th Street, SW, looking north toward L’Enfant Plaza and the Forrestal Building.
Photo by Fiona Clem ©2019

The park was designed by Dan Kiley and opened in November 1971. In 1998, Congress passed legislation that authorized a Banneker memorial in D.C.  This park site was chosen for that memorial, and it is managed by the National Park Service.

Pedestrian walkway on L’Enfant Boulevard (10th St, SW) looking toward Banneker Park and the Wharf
Photo by Fiona Clem ©2019

From Banneker Park there are views to the south that look over Maine Avenue, SW, and onto the Wharf development that was completed in September 2017.

Wharf and East Potomac Park Jitney

The other day I was riding my bike around Hains Point when a helpful NPS Ranger asked if I knew about the ferry. When I told him I didn’t, he shared the details with me. Thanks, #NPSRanger.

Throughout the summer (April – November), the Wharf runs a jitney across the Washington Channel to East Potomac Park. The shuttle dock at the Wharf is at the end of the Recreation Pier. The dock on the East Potomac Park side is located on the water across from the East Potomac Park Putt Putt course.
Shuttle between the Wharf and East Potomac ParkThe ride takes about 1 minute, and are free! Bikes are allowed. It only runs during the day (from 12noon – 30 minutes before sunset, and 9am – 30 minutes before sunset on weekends). Check the schedule.

There’s no call box. You can just go to the pier and wait. They’ll see you across the water and come over to pick you up.

Recreation Pier
The shuttle between the Wharf and East Potomac Park is located at the end of Recreation Pier (7th Street SW)

It’s an easy and quick way to get across the DC channel, and there’s so much to do on either side. If you want to play golf, mini golf or tennis, ride your bike, go fishing, or relax and watch the planes land at Washington National Airport then come over to East Potomac Park. If you want to shop, eat, relax on swings, play oversized board games, or catch a show at Anthem, Pearl Street Warehouse, or Union Stage then head over to the Wharf side of the channel.