As a strict adherent to his own personal philosophy promoting “the strenuous life,” President Theodore Roosevelt regularly swam in the Potomac River, even in the middle of winter. As a president with a proud record of conservation (especially in creating National Monuments), it is meaningful that his memorial lies on an 80-acre island with 2.5 miles of gravel trails leading through its beautiful and diverse deciduous forest.
Upland Trail, Swamp Trail, statue
Fittingly, Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial is only accessible via a footbridge from the Virginia side of the Potomac River. Dedicated in 1967, a 17-foot statue of the man is surrounded by several fountains and four monoliths carved with his words. The foundation of a brick mansion owned by the Mason family in the 1800s can be seen from the trails on the island.
Teddy would surely appreciate that the island is situated along the Mount Vernon Trail, an 18-mile pathway that follows the western bank of the Potomac River.
Teddy Roosevelt was known as a flamboyant orator, which is even captured in his silent statue. In 1912, he famously gave an 84-minute campaign speech after being shot in the chest by a would-be assassin.
The parking lot is only accessible from the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which is itself a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) system.
George Washington Memorial Parkway (Maryland-Virginia)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (District of Columbia)
Rock Creek Park (District of Columbia)
Explore More – When did the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association purchase the island?