Summary: The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association purchased this 88.5-acre island in 1932 and dedicated it to the public in memory of Roosevelt. Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., a leading landscape architect, worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps to bring a neglected island into a mature woodland sanctuary. Architect Eric Gugler designed the memorial and Sculptor Paul Manship created the central statue. The dedication ceremony took place in October 1967.
The island has a diverse history. Evidence shows that Native Americans used the island as a seasonal fishing village. The site was named "My Lord's Island," when King Charles I granted it to Lord Baltimore.
Today, the National Park Service protects the island, while providing for public enjoyment. While you are here, savor the sounds of the outdoors as you travel through marsh, swamp, and forest.
Trailhead: 395 N to exit 10C. Follow George Washington Parkway pas the Pentagon, and exits for Key Bridge. Parking for Theodore Roosevelt Island is on your left, and only accesible from the northbound side of the highway. (Lat:38.8959 Lon:-77.065)
Trail Guides for Theodore Roosevelt Island:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: National Park Service 703-289-2500
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by John on 6/14/2010
I have hiked this park for years now, but today when I visited the park rangers had closed down all the trails that were along the waters edge. There were several really nice spots that were perfect to let me dog cool down in the river. Now, that they have closed down all the trails that gave access to the river, I don't think I will be going as often at least not when it's very hot as they dogs can't access the river to cool down. It's quite a shame that the trails that I had used for more than a decade are now no longer able to be used.
Reviewed by JM on 9/10/2008
I use the island to run as well and saw a wild turkey the other day. I thought it was a turkey vulture but it took off like a roadrunner. In the past I've seen fox, eagles, and a barred owl chick. Great spot.
Reviewed by GG on 8/21/2008
There definitely is a deer population. I spotted 2 crossing the trail some 40 meters ahead of me. I saw another one between the bushes. They were on the upland trail to the north of the island. The walk is nice except for the constant noise of the airplanes.
Reviewed by Bob on 11/12/2007
There definitely ARE deer on the island. Saw 2 yesterday at close range.
Reviewed by LPE on 9/19/2007
Not only is this a gorgeous nature spot super close to the city, but every time I do, I see deer. This morning around eleven, I walked into the park, right across the bridge, when my dog started to bark. There was a young buck, not caring about the racket my dog made at all, just standing there about 50 feet away from us!! Not even ten minutes later, at about the same distance from us, we saw a full grown buck and later in the walk a doe ran across the path. Nice oasis along the Potomac!
Reviewed by MJM on 9/5/2007
Use the island for running but as far as deer - spotted an 8 point buck yesterday near boardwalk (was 5 feet away from him). Third deer spotted in less than a week. Talked to a gentlemen I've seen numerous times and he estiamtes upwards of a dozen live on the island.
Reviewed by Marcus on 4/8/2007
Because of it's convenience to the city, my family hikes this loop frequently (about 12 times a year). It's flat, offers great views of the river on the east side and a good place to see birds migrating through (we spotted Scaups and Grebes in late March). There is also at least one pair of Pileated Woodpeckers nesting on the island. As for the deer, we spotted six bedded down very early one morning. And early visits are the way to go, it gets very crowded, especially on a nice day weekend. I have no idea what Robert is referring to regarding the endangered blue crane. Blue Heron are common here, but not endangered. The Blue Crane, which is endangered, is South African.
Reviewed by Robert on 12/30/2006
Get's a four because it is such a convenient place to reach - close to the city. There is lots of wildlife. The deer swim across the river. You can see them on the ice when the river freezes. The corner near GTown has beaver. It also has a little sand beach which is wonderful to run the dogs. The backside has a long boardwalk through a wetland - and the wetland has all type of birds - including the endangered blue crane. The Island connects both to the Potomac Heritage trail and the GW bike path. The negatives are limited parking during good weekends - and lots of IDIOT tourists. Oh and airplanes are about 200 feet above your head as they finish their approach to DC National Airport.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Virginia Hiking, Virginia Trails, Virginia Hikes, Fairfax County Hiking, Fairfax County Trails, Fairfax County Hikes