"Theodore Roosevelt Island" Top 5 Page for this destination Parks / Gardens Tip by Ewingjr98

Parks / Gardens, Washington D.C.: 58 reviews and 115 photos

Theodore Roosevelt Island is a hidden, and rarely visited park maintained by the George Washington Parkway branch of the National Park Service. It is about 90 acres and it's most (only) important landmark is the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial. The Island covers about 90 acres of hardwoods and marshland and measures about 2/3 of a mile by 1/3 of a mile. The island has around four miles of trails including about a half mile of boardwalk over the swamps of the eastern side of the island.

The island was settled by local natives who apparently used it as a seasonal fishing village. Later it was owned by George Mason (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), then his son build a mansion here which became the center of the local social scene. Since about 1831 the island was mainly uninhabited other than a brief period of occupation by Union troops during the Civil War. Around 1906 the deserted mansion's remains were destroyed by fire, and the Washington Gas Light Company owned the island from 1913 to 1931. The island was purchased from Washington Gas Light Company by the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association in 1931. In 1932 Congress authorized the constriction of the memorial, though it was not completed until 1967.

You should park at the small parking area on the northbound lanes (actually heading west) of the George Washington Memorial Parkway next in Rosslyn, Virginia (but the Island itself is considered part of DC). From this parking lot with maybe 100 parking spaces, there is an arched concrete bridge leading over a small channel of the Potomac. After crossing the bridge to the island the trails become relatively level packed earth going in either direction. Also at the end of the bridge on the island is a National Park Service sign with maps of the island, maps of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and other information brochures. A quick turn to the right, then up the hill will lead you straight to the Monument. Trails run both directions from the base of the bridge.

By Metro, go Rosslyn on the Orange and Blue Lines, then its a 6-block walk.

Phone: (703) 289-2500
Website: http://www.nps.gov/this/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 7, 2008
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