Northern VA’s Own Island Get Away – Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is located on the George Washington Memorial Parkway near Rosslyn, Virginia.

6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Entrance fees:
(Ranger-led programs on the island are also free.)

Theodore Roosevelt Island is a 88.5-acre island and a national memorial located in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The island was given to the American people by the Theodore Roosevelt Association in memory of the 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt. Before that, the island had been known as My Lord’s IslandBarbadoes IslandMason’s IslandAnalostan Island, and Anacostine Island. It is maintained by the National Park Service as part of the nearby George Washington Memorial Parkway. The land serves as a serene natural park with various winding trails and a memorial plaza featuring a statue of Roosevelt.

Things to Do

The George Washington Memorial Parkway includes over 25 sites, ranging from historic homes to wildlife preserves. You can join a ranger for a free program or explore these sites on your own.

Ranger-led programs:

Whether you are a local who visits every day or a tourist in town for a few hours, a ranger-led program is a great way to get the inside story on Theodore Roosevelt Island. See the schedule of events to find out when and where to meet for the programs described below.

Island safari:

Join a ranger for an easy guided walk through some of Theodore Roosevelt Island’s wild times, both human and natural.

Canoeing or kayaking:

An easy flat water paddle around the island is the best way to see how the Potomac River shapes its physical form and influences its wildlife.

Wildlife viewing:

Birders will find habitat for wading birds, raptors, and warblers. Wildflowers put on a spectacular show in spring and early summer.

Walking or running:

The Swamp Trail is mostly flat with a boardwalk section. The Woods and Upland Trails are surfaced with pea-sized gravel.


Summers on the island are generally hot and humid with daytime highs frequently above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and scattered afternoon thunderstorms. Please carry water while participating in physical activity and be prepared to take shelter from lightning.


Permits are required for certain activities within the park. There is a $50 fee for permit applications. Permits are mandatory for:


By car:

Theodore Roosevelt Island can only be reached from the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. After Memorial Bridge follow the sign to turn right to enter the parking lot. Please note that cars are only allowed to park in designated parking spaces.

By metro:

The island is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro station. From the station, walk towards the Key Bridge. A short connecting trail leads downhill from the downstream side of the bridge, across the parkway, and into the parking lot at Theodore Roosevelt Island.

On foot or by bicycle:

The northern terminus of the Mount Vernon Trail is located at Theodore Roosevelt Island. A short connecting trail leads downhill from the downstream side of the Key Bridge in Virginia, across the parkway, and into the parking lot at Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Bicycles are not allowed on the island. Bicycle racks are located near the footbridge.

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