5

A Brit who has never been stateside before but has devoted rudimentary study to American folklore plans to visit the Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC. Specifically the Museum of Crafts and the American History Museum.

They hope to enlarge their cultural experience by playing several innings of genuine American horseshoes. This is a great sport for a family or for young couples just starting to date, and it is played on what's variously called a "pitch", "pit", or "court".

There are no doubt lots of private residences fitted out with a horseshoe pitch, but... I have been thinking that Washington is a bit too urban for this type of sport and hence not available for a tourist.

Question: where in the Washington DC area can a tourist play horseshoes at a publically supervised pitch?

Note: for this question "Washington DC area" includes the Tri State area and any Maryland or Virginia county that touches the I-495 Capital Beltway.

  • 4
    I don't know about DC specifically, but it's not uncommon for a public park or beach to have a horseshoe pit. It's really nothing more than a sand pit with a stake driven in the ground at either end. You'd probably be expected to bring your own horseshoes, but they should be available inexpensively at any sporting goods store. So you might get somewhere just by a Google search for "park with horseshoe pit + your neighborhood". – Nate Eldredge May 1 '16 at 19:22
  • 1
    I am not sure what you mean by "publicly supervised". Horseshoes is a very casual game and most people play it without any formal rules or referee. I don't think it's too likely you'll find a privately run horseshoe pit, except maybe off in the corner of a country club or something. – Nate Eldredge May 1 '16 at 19:24
  • @NateEldredge, right! Hence the question here :) – Gayot Fow May 1 '16 at 19:27
  • 1
    Yes, of course; it's a fine question. I just thought the suggestion of parks might help you know more specifically what to look for. – Nate Eldredge May 1 '16 at 19:30
  • @NateEldredge, maybe I can submit a parallel enquiry at the NPS also, good idea – Gayot Fow May 1 '16 at 19:42
5

I am not sure what you mean by publically supervised pitch. If you are looking for a pitch that is supervised in regards to the pitching of horseshoes, your best bet might be to contact the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA). There are no NHPA clubs inside the beltway. The closest is probably the Baltimore Metro Horseshoe Club

The website suggested in another answer is woefully inaccurate at finding horseshoe pits. Despite lacking an official club, horseshoes is very popular in DC and supported by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. Horseshoes was a featured activity in the 2015 Recreation day celebration. The Florida Ave park on 1st and Florida was renovated in 2012 to include horseshoe pits. There are also pits at at the Kennedy Rec Center on P and 7th which was renovated in 2013. Both of these are in walking distance of the National Mall.

enter image description here

4
+50

It appears that Langdon Park offers public horseshoe pits. (Found via DC Park Rx, which has "horseshoe pits" as a search filter.)

You might want to call the listed number to confirm that they are still there, and ask whether horseshoes are available to borrow, or if you should bring your own (they should be relatively inexpensive at any large sporting goods store).

There isn't likely to be any way to reserve the pits; just show up and if they are in use, wait your turn. (Or if the people already playing seem friendly, ask if you can join them!)

  • I don't know why it wouldn't be. More likely this is a problem with your browser, or the site's SSL setup. You should be able to have your browser ignore the problem; it's not as if the information on the site is sensitive. – Nate Eldredge May 1 '16 at 19:46
  • +1 for FGITW, this link seems to work better for Langdon Park dcparkrx.org/view.php?id=148 – Gayot Fow May 1 '16 at 19:46
  • 1
    I think DC Park Rx is an unofficial site; the first link I gave is actually run by the DC city government. (Insert your own joke as to that being the reason why it doesn't work.) – Nate Eldredge May 1 '16 at 19:48
  • 3
    Yeah, Langdon Park itself is clearly a public park, owned and maintained by the city government. But I wouldn't expect there to be city personnel there actually supervising it all the time. – Nate Eldredge May 1 '16 at 19:52
  • 3
    That park is far, far off the tourist trail. – Andrew Lazarus May 1 '16 at 20:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.