Board a large pontoon boat and travel back in time to the Confederate forces’ successful blockade of Washington DC. Through the windows of the boat, imagine what the shore would have looked like 150 years ago, when the Confederates’ stopped passage to Washington DC for six months from September 1861 to March 1862. The shoreline is blanketed with trees, right up to the waters edge, and looks very similar to what the Confederates’ saw too.

To celebrate the 150 Anniversary of the battles of the Civil War, the Prince William Historic Preservation Society set up many events around the county to educate more people about those experiences. The Civil War Blockade Tour, which set sail once or twice a month during 2013 Summer to Fall season, allowed visitors to experience this interesting piece of American history in a very unique way.

About the cruise: 

The boat cruise started in Leesylvania State Park and then took visitors on an hour trip down the Potomac, passing historical sites like Freestone Point and Possum Nose, as well as Evansport and Shipping Point. You’ll even get a unique sighting of Quantico and the President’s helicopter pad from the boat’s open windows. 

Besides just a fun boat ride, tour guides hand out packets of the information, and discusses what types of weapons were used, what types of people would have been involved and what life was like back then. Serving a box lunch of sandwiches from a local deli, relax as the captain steadily glides your boat down the river. 

Even if you aren’t a huge history lover, the backdrop of Leesylvania State Park will delight. After the tour, we highly suggest you rent a canoe or hike to the top of the look out point to further explore the area. 

Note: The blockade tour is not available during winter. Please email the Preservation Society for further details.