Fort Dupont Park

Quick Facts

Fort Dupont Park

District Of Columbia

(202) 426-7723

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

"A park for all seasons" describes the 376 wooded acres that make up one of the largest parks in Washington. Picnics, nature walks, a hiker/biker trail, scenic drives, a Civil War earthworks fort, Civil War programs, gardening, summer concerts, ice skating, sports, environmental education, and youth programs are among the varied seasonal activities at this spacious area east of the Anacostia River. The grounds of Fort Dupont Park are open all year from dawn to dusk. The Activity Center is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day

Map of Fort Dupont Park

Latitude, Longitude: 38.878472, -76.944122

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    A fun biker-friendly trail takes you through woods and nature as well as vast fields at Fort Dupont.

  • Hiking

    Nature walks and hiking trails are plentiful in the area,

  • Historic Sites

    This particular fort had six sides, each 100 feet long, protected by a deep moat and trees felled side-by-side with branches pointing outward. It was named for Flag Officer Samuel F. du Pont, who commanded the naval victory at Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861.

    Although its garrison and guns never saw battle, Fort Dupont served as a lifeline of freedom. Runaway slaves found safety here before moving on to join the growing community of "contrabands" in Washington. The barracks and guns are gone, but the fort's earthworks can still be traced near the picnic area on Alabama Avenue.

  • Picnicking

    There is no fee for picnicking in the following areas, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis: Randle Circle, only in the triangular area between Randle Circle, Minnesota Avenue and Fort Dupont Drive; Ridge Picnic Area off Fort Dupont Drive; Bruce Place, near Battery Ricketts and the Anacostia Museum; Fort Place (in front of the Anacostia Museum) and in Fort Chaplin Park (on Texas Avenue between B and C Streets SE).

    To reserve a picnic area, contact the D.C. Department of Parks & Recreation at 202-673-7646. Picnic Area #47 at Randle Circle has a capacity of 75 people; Picnic Area #47A at Randle Circle has a capacity of 50 people; Historic Earthwork (Lanham Estates) Picnic Area on Alabama Avenue has a capacity of 75 people. Restrooms are located in each of these areas.

  • Tennis

    There is no fee to use the multipurpose recreation field, tennis courts, or basketball court on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you wish to reserve this field for a group outing, there is a fee. All of these fields and courts are located along Ely Place between Minnesota Avenue SE and Ridge Road. In addition, there is a multipurpose field located in Fort Mahan Park (the access road is located across from the corner of 42nd Street, NE and Eads Street, NE). Visit the park website "Fees and Reservations" page for more information.

  • Winter Sports

    An indoor ice rink offers skating all winter.

Seasonality/Weather

Summer weather is usually very warm and humid (average high temperature in mid-summer is 89 F). Winters are usually cold, but not severe (average high temperature in mid-winter is 41 F). Nighttime temperatures will drop below 10 F a few times each winter. Spring is the most variable of the seasons, while fall weather is very pleasant.

Directions

Driving

Fort Dupont Park is located in Southeast Washington, DC., east of the Anacostia River. It is not near Dupont Circle. It is bounded by Minnesota Avenue to the west; Ely Place and Ridge Roads to the north; Alabama Avenue to the east; and Massachusetts Avenue to the south. The main driving entrances to the park are Fort Davis Drive and Ridge Road; Fort Davis Drive and Massachusetts Avenue; and Randle Circle and Fort Dupont Drive.

The summer theater entrance is on Minnesota Avenue and F Street between Ely Place and Randle Circle.

Public Transportation

The closest metro rail stops are Minnesota Avenue on the orange line, and Benning Road on the blue line. Fort Dupont Park is served by several Metrobus routes. The most direct buses are the V7 and U2 buses on weekdays, or the V8 bus on weekends. To obtain directions using public transportation, use Metro's website.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(202) 426-7723

Links