Roosevelt Island, DC

Man, I’d really hoped to have an actual recipe by now, but {excuse}, {excuse}, {excuse}. I have even photographed a few dishes, but ultimately did not deem any of them blogworthy and I don’t want to post something lame just to finally get a food post up on what is supposed to be a food blog. So pardon me for a little while longer while I indulge myself in more random photographs of wildlife and Parks Near Renae.

When I used to think of national parks, I’d think of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, and after moving to Virginia even Shenandoah, but the National Park Service comprises more than just those huge, beautiful expanses whose names are so familiar. As I mentioned in my previous post, the C & O Canal is a very long and skinny national park, and in fact, there are a lot of (free!) national parks in this area (mostly due to it being the metro area of the nation’s capital). Theodore Roosevelt Island is a tiny national park I never even knew of until somewhat recently. As I’ve mentioned, a lot of my spring park hopping this year has concentrated on the Potomac River and Roosevelt Island is right smack in the middle of the Potomac River, between DC and Virginia.

I wasn’t in a rush to get to Roosevelt Island for a couple of reasons: 1) as it’s technically part of DC, I feared that getting there after work (when I do a lot of my Potomac admiring) would be a traffic-related nightmare, and 2) the maps state it has barely 2.5 miles of trails, and since my photo rambles double as my exercise on the days I do them, 2 miles of hiking seems barely worth my while. However, the Potomac Heritage Trail (many portions of which I’ve been hiking this spring) and the Mount Vernon Trail converge there so I figured if I needed to I could tack on a mile or two on one of those, so with beautiful weather yesterday afternoon, I made my way there…shocked to hit almost no traffic on the way! And as it turns out, Roosevelt Island was nicer than I’d expected and definitely worthwhile. Plus there are a lot of unmarked trails that aren’t on the map and which probably double the actual trail miles. I was in an infrared mood, so most of the pictures were taken with my infrared-converted camera.

This picture is taken from underneath the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge which takes I-66 into DC, turning into Constitution Avenue. (I seem to find myself UNDER a lot of bridges I used to only go OVER a lot recently…) The buildings are the cute neighborhood of Rosslyn in Virginia.

The same bridge:

The same bridge, right next to a boardwalk over a tidal marsh on Roosevelt Island THAT I NEVER KNEW WAS RIGHT THERE all the times I’ve driven over that bridge.

A bench overlooking the swamp:

It must have been low tide, because I was surprised to hear this deer rustling around in the tidal marsh. Can you see her?

This is Washington Harbor in Georgetown from across the Potomac:

In the distance is the Key Bridge taking Route 29 into Georgetown:

Now I’ve circled around the perimeter of the island (on the unmarked trail that goes along the beach and is thus longer – and far more interesting – than the marked trail), so this is Rosslyn again:

And I made a friend!

The actual memorial to Teddy Roosevelt is in the center of the island, and when I turned onto one of the paths leading it, a gorgeous buck standing smack in the middle of the trail 30 feet from me and I surprised each other. He let me take his picture then ran off. If you live near deer, you know that if you see one, there’s more nearby, and sure enough, I walked right up to this beauty who’d been scoping out the scene before following his friend:

With a whole island devoted to it, President Roosevelt has a lot more features to his memorial than Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. There is a statue in the middle surrounded by several monoliths bearing quotes from the man. This is the “nature” monolith:

A bridge. While here I encountered TOURISTS! From Nashville! I don’t encounter them as often after moving out of DC and I have to say, they are a lot more pleasant to be around when they are milling around a mostly deserted island and not FAILING TO STAND TO THE RIGHT on the metro. 🙂

There was water in the moat that goes around the memorial …

… but none in the two bowl-shaped fountains:

Here’s the statue, although what I was really taking a picture of was the glowing leaves in the tree.

The compressed version of the following photo makes the wording hard to read, but the text of the sign is as follows:
Trash cans are not provided in this park.
Please take your trash with you when you leave.
Carry in, Carry Out

Random capitalization of the last line aside, THAT SIGN IS CLEARLY LYING.


  1. Mylene Said,

    June 25, 2014 @ 8:18 am

    I love this! I visited Roosevelt Island in February of last year when I’d spent several weeks in the area. It’s nice to be able to see what it looks like with more greenery. Most of what I saw while there were the low-flying planes overhead, descending towards the airport. Heheh!

  2. renae Said,

    June 25, 2014 @ 9:27 am

    Mylene, hah! I should have mentioned the fact that planes flying into National are a constant. There’s actually a plane in almost all of the wider shots I took that include the sky. 🙂

  3. susan Said,

    June 25, 2014 @ 9:04 am

    How does the island not get over run with deer? I never thought I’d say it but I miss DC sometimes. Great photos.

  4. renae Said,

    June 25, 2014 @ 9:35 am

    Susan, good question about the deer! I really don’t know as their natural predator the automobile is not allowed on the island and if they want to get OFF the island they’ve got to traipse across the bridge, which pretty much just puts them on the GW Parkway. I did see the remains of deer on one of the side trails; it’d be interesting to know what happened to it. I guess the population just controls itself.

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