Tide Lock Park on Alexandria’s Waterfront

The City of Alexandria maintains a series of 14 waterfront parks along the Potomac River.

Each is relatively small but together they form a linear line some two miles in length and are anchored by the Mt. Vernon Bike Trail. Each one carries a marker denoting its hours, size and historical identity.  Today we will visit Tide Lock Park.

Tide Lock Park

Tide Lock Park consists of 6.70 acres that are completely accessible to the waterfront and takes its name from an old canal that existed in the 1800’s.

The remains of the canal were discovered during the construction of an office building and were incorporated into the design.

These artificial waterways were used to move goods and materials to and from sea going ships. The goods were then transported by canal barges up and down the canal which were controlled by huge wooden locks. The last of the Alexandria canals were destroyed by floods in the early 1820’s and were never re-built because the railroads were beginning to take over.

Today there is a replica of the lock and canal which uses many of original canal wall stones and is an integral part of the landscape for the Trans Potomac Canal Center/Savage Fogarty which maintains this property with permanent public access.

Tide Lock Park also includes quiet spots for sitting, an outdoor amphitheater, water features and examples of Greco Roman sculpture.  Truly a tiny gem, Tide Lock is a green respite for workers, visitors and residents and one of the things that makes Alexandria a great place to live.

Michael