Theodore Roosevelt Island

Northern Virginia

Theodore Roosevelt Island Park gates in fall.

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This 91-acre wooded island in the Potomac is a wilderness preserve honoring the conservation-minded 26th US president. A large memorial plaza and statue of Teddy dominate the island’s center, and 2½ miles of trails and boardwalks snake around the shorelines. The island’s swampy fringes shelter birds, raccoons and other small animals. There are great views of the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University across the river. Note that bikes aren’t permitted on the island itself; lock them up in the parking lot.

Originally a Native American fishing village, the island has been owned by a Caribbean sea captain, home to the Mason family, and safeguarded by Union troops during the Civil War. In 1932 the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association purchased the land with the aim of creating a memorial. Famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted is credited with renaturalizing the setting. It was finally dedicated in 1967. The island is accessible only from the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Pkwy. If you’re walking from Rosslyn, the closest Metro station, find the pedestrian bridge that takes you across the parkway (at the corner of North Lynn St and Lee Hwy).