A Stroll on an Island

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By John Cowgill

You are in a natural paradise as you stroll on a path, surrounded by trees. Coming upon a marsh, you notice ducks in the water. As you step towards a larger body of water, you look across and see the Kennedy Center and Georgetown, the high-rises in Rosslyn and the cars crossing the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge.

Welcome to Theodore Roosevelt Island, located in the Potomac River between the high-rise structures of Rosslyn and the historic village of Georgetown.  It is named after former President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a conservationist. During his presidency, Roosevelt established monuments and preserved natural areas across the nation and eventually established the National Park Service.  In his honor, the island that could have been a place for a nice fancy restaurant or hotel was left alone and preserved as a monument for the man himself.

There is a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt on the island, making it the only monument to a U.S. President in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region that you are required to hike to.  It is a hike worth taking.

Theodore Roosevelt Island is owned by the National Park Service.  It is located on the George Washington Memorial Parkway northwest of downtown Washington, D.C., and is only accessible from the northbound parkway.  It is open year-round from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Parking is free but is limited.  There are no paved trails to the memorial, making it difficult for wheelchairs.

If you want to escape city life without escaping city life, Theodore Roosevelt Island is a good escape.  While in the park, you are in a memorial to Roosevelt himself.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

A trail on the island


John Cowgill writes about destinations in the greater Washington, D.C. region.


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