Theodore Roosevelt Island

Washington Travel Blog

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Footbridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island

Today was one of those beautiful sunny fall days that are the best in Washington, DC. Rain the previous day washed away the haze allowing an intense sun and bright blue sky. This would be a good day for a noontime hike on Roosevelt Island!  Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac is an natural preseve in the middle of the Washington urban area. It's not well known to visitors to the national capital and might be classified as one of Washington's best-kept secrets.

As this was to be a noontime hike, I drove to the island's parking lot off the Geroge Washington Parkway, parked the car, and put on my outdoor shoes. From there, I crossed the footbridge to the island itself.

Theodore Roosevelt Statue
I first made my way to the Theodore Roosevelt memorial, commemorating the conservation-minded 26th President. A rather large picnic was in progress here, with picnicers having spread out folding chairs, tables and food all over the memorial's plaza. Maybe more people knew about this place than I thought! I stopped for some photos of the memorial and then headed off down the one of the trails.  

A deer suddely came out on the trail ahead of me. It stopped, raised its head, and then quickly dove into the bush. Wa;king a bit farther on,  I could see the deer looking back at me from the thicket. I thought of a similar deer encounter a few years ago in Shenandoah National Park.

I reached a cul-de-sac marking the end of the Upland Trail and then set off on the Swamp Trail through the marshes of the island. This is more open territory and various birds and waterfowl can be seen inhabiting the wetlands. A great blue heron perched on a tree limb for me. Much larger "birds" are seen and heard, too, approaching Reagan National Airport, a reminder that you are in the city. The Swamp Trail ends at the US 50 Highway bridge linking Virginia and the District of Columbia. I had traversed the length of the island. The Woods Trail then took me back through, well, a woods, to the memorial grove and the end of a pleasant lunchtime outing. Aside from the picnicers, I encountered only about a dozen other walkers and joggers on the trails.

eurowestgirl says:
I love this island! I used to bike it until a woman screamed at me that no bikes are allowed. Oops! It's a lovely place...!
Posted on: Oct 07, 2007
tvillingmarit says:
After telling us about the Island it is not longer a secret. Thanks for shearing
Posted on: Sep 21, 2007
vances says:
Too true that this is a hidden gem - I used to run over to the island and around the trails several times each week and then into the office (Georgetown) several times each week. Thanks for the memories!
Posted on: Sep 20, 2007
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Footbridge to Theodore Roosevelt I…
Footbridge to Theodore Roosevelt …
Theodore Roosevelt Statue
Theodore Roosevelt Statue
Memorial Fountain
Memorial Fountain
Deer on Theodore Roosevelt Island
Deer on Theodore Roosevelt Island
Potomac River cruise boat
Potomac River cruise boat
The Marsh, Theodore Roosevelt Isla…
The Marsh, Theodore Roosevelt Isl…
An Great Blue Heron rests on a tre…
An Great Blue Heron rests on a tr…
Island Wetlands
Island Wetlands
Woods Trail
Woods Trail
Kyakers on the Potomac River
Kyakers on the Potomac River
Georgetown from Theodore Roosevelt…
Georgetown from Theodore Roosevel…
Washington
photo by: b93sp