Located immediately outside of the city and the Mount Vernon Trail, Roosevelt Island, a tribute to President Teddy Roosevelt, is a gem among the local outdoor spaces in the D.C. area.
Parking for the island is right off the GW Parkway and the entrance is on the right at the end of the parking lot (Mount Vernon Trail will be to the left). At the entrance to the island, I saw a larger group of people heading to the right so I decided to walk the loop counter clockwise. And it was a good decision. After a recent snowstorm there was were some huge puddles of mud to wade through and it gave the mud a chance to dry off before I got back in the car.
The nearly two-mile walk is serene and peaceful. The first quarter is a wooded path and then the long stretch of boardwalk over the swamps begins. While you can see the iconic landmarks of D.C. through trees, it also feels secluded with an air of mystery all around. As is my habit during COVID times, I get to popular trails close to the city late in the afternoon (around 3 PM) and saw the big crowds finishing their walk and crisscrossed smaller groups of people walking the loop clockwise. All of this gave me a chance to to maintain social distancing guidelines.
This kid- and pet-friendly hike ends (if you’re going counter clockwise) in a sculpture garden that is a tribute to President Teddy Roosevelt and has a unique beauty of its own. On a warm and non-pandemic day, this could be a beautiful place to enjoy lunch and read a book or cap off the beautiful walk with a picnic.
If you make it out to Roosevelt Island and found this blog post helpful in planning your trip, make sure to let me know!