Get Outdoors: Roosevelt Island, VA

Looking for a different experience in Washington, DC?  Cross the Potomac River into Virginia and head over to Roosevelt Island.  The island is located across the river from DC's Georgetown neighborhood and is a memoral to the nation's 26th president.  Roosevelt Island is part of the National Park Service.  To get there, head North on the George Washington Parkway from the Memorial or 14th Street Bridges.  You can only access the park from the GW Parkway or Mt. Vernon bike trail.  You will see a parking lot on the right side of the road just past the Roosevelt Bridge and before the Key Bridge.  Parking and access to the park is free.

You enter the island by footbidge. Once on the island you greeted with several miles of hiking trails.  I would classify the trails on the island as easy to moderate.  They are perfect for a short hike.  Dogs are welcome, but must be leased.  Also, the island does not currently have any trash cans.  This means when you pick up after your dog you must carry it out of the park.  

Near the center of the island is a memorial plaza that includes a statue of Roosevelt.  The island has three main trails.  The Woods Trail, the Upland Trail and the Swamp Trail.  The Woods trail winds through the foilage and eventually leads to the Swamp Trail.  The swamp trail runs the length of the island and is a raised boardwalk over the marsh that covers much of the island.  It is not uncommon to see a wide variety of birds and the occassional deer.  For the most part the trails are level and there are only minor inclines.  

On the north end of the island there is a beach that is accessible at low tide.  This is a popular spot for kayakers and dog owners.  During my recent visit the river was low and my lab was able to run out and enjoy the water. 

The National Park service has some helpful information online for Roosevelt Island.

Looking for other ideas in the Washington, DC area?  Check out these articles:

Old Town Alexandria, VA

A Day on the National Mall

Cruising the Potomac River