A favorite spot on the island is the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Plaza, where you'll find a couple of fountains, and four 21-foot granite tablets that bear the future-conscious 26th president's words about conservation of natural resources in the US. The plaza's centerpiece is the 17-foot statue of the island's namesake, mounted upon a pedestal, in a typical pose: looking and pointing forward. The bronze of the statue, burnished by time, practically glows in the sunlight. Benches flank it, where folks can rest and have a snack, shared with the pooch of course!
Moving about the island means taking one or all 3 trails that circle it and cross to an old mansion and the plaza. One of the most popular is the Swamp Trail, a 1.5-mile loop that alternates a pea gravel surface with raised boardwalks across the marshiest spots. On all 3 trails, it's important to stay on the path to avoid painful stinging nettle, itchy poison ivy, and disease-carrying ticks.
Access to the island is from the northbound lane of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, where you'll find a footbridge featuring pawsome views of the Potomac River and Washington's monuments and government buildings. The Mount Vernon Trail, which passes near the island, also provides access to the footbridge. Restrooms and water are provided, but do bring your own clean up bags.
This little-known but well-loved island is a frequent destination for Washingtonians to get a breather from the traffic and noise of the city, and it does the same for visitors, tired of walking the monument tour. Whichever category you and your fur-baby fit into, a visit to the Theodore Roosevelt Island is a must-do in DC!