Theodore Roosevelt Island Outer Loop

EASY 275 reviews

Theodore Roosevelt Island Outer Loop is a 1.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Washington, District of Columbia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.6 miles Elevation Gain: 42 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

beach

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

Wooded trail and boardwalk over swamp, tribute to our 26th President. The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association purchased this 88.5-acre island in 1932 and dedicated it to the public in memory of Roosevelt. Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., a leading landscape architect, worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps to bring a neglected island into a mature woodland sanctuary. Architect Eric Gugler designed the memorial and Sculptor Paul Manship created the central statue. The dedication ceremony took place in October 1967. The island has a diverse history. Evidence shows that Native Americans used the island as a seasonal fishing village. The site was named "My Lord's Island," when King Charles granted it to Lord Baltimore. Today, the National Park Service protects the island, while providing for public enjoyment. While you are here, savor the sounds of the outdoors as you travel through marsh, swamp, and forest.

hiking
1 day ago

This is one of my favorite underrated places to relax and explore - there are trails winding around the centerpiece of the island (a small plaza and statue dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt) but its small size allows for enjoyable little treks off trail into the “wilderness” without any fear of getting lost. One side affords a close up view of the Watergate and DC waterfront, and the Key Bridge is also a nice sight to enjoy. There are no fences stopping you from going right up and wading into the Potomac (as I recall) if you somehow want to. There’s a parking lot on the Arlington side of the island where the one bridge entrance is which makes this super convenient, although it’s also very accessible by Metro (I took the Orange Line to Rosslyn and walked - and given how many times I was nearly run over it’s also a popular place to cycle to, I suppose). The only major downside is that park facilities are closed in the off-season - and that includes any bathrooms. The off-season is of course nicer due to the fewer people and there’s a certain sparse beauty in the rows of stick thin trees that haven’t yet come back to life for the spring.

hiking
4 days ago

I take my dog here for a nice walk all the time. I live in the city so it’s a nice little trail to walk on the weekend. Easy walk and cool views looking back into DC from the island.

running
15 days ago

Ran inner & outer loops. Partial dirt and wooden trails, good on the knees.

road biking
off trail
18 days ago

running
18 days ago

ParkRun 5K this morning

Sat morning free Park Run. Come and join us

ParkRun 5K. Big group running this weekend

running
2 months ago

Haven’t been out here in over ten years, still an awesome spot to enjoy the outdoors. Plenty of history, wildlife and trees. I saw lots of paw paw trees some fruiting should be ready to pick around October. While I was out there a thunderstorm swept through the area and turned most of the trail into streams, I had an umbrella and still had a great time.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy and fun trail anyone can do. Because of this its rare you have it to yourself. Nice boardwalk section and a cool monument to see. Great for dogs, LOTS of bugs in the wetland areas.

Park run

4 months ago

Short but fun trail to walk around and work in your running if you need a bit of challenge on rougher terrain.

hiking
muddy
off trail
4 months ago

Gorgeous yellow orchids in the marsh this time of year. Got 3 miles or enjoyable walking in.

walking
muddy
off trail
4 months ago

I took several side trails by accident because the main trail isn't marked so well. Overall, a nice trail, but wear shoes that are okay to get muddy.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Great trail to bring your dog and kids to get outside on the weekend or weekday. Very short and easy trail but nice.. wish they would clean the fountains by the Teddy Roosevelt monument..

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Nice trail but some areas were saturated by rain the night before and muddy. If you’ll be hiking in wet conditions you can stick to the trails with pebbles or wear shoes you’re ok to get muddy.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

walking
muddy
6 months ago

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

The view of the sunrise from the entrance bridge is beautiful. The winter snow gives the place a majestic feel and the ice floes are particularly picturesque.

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

Sooooo muddy!

7 months ago

Excellent place to visit when in DC. Check weather and take rain jacket/umbrella if necessary, even though there is a worthy memorial there isn't any shelter for rain.

hiking
10 months ago

I hiked the outer loop counterclockwise yesterday, 11/7. It was very muddy at the start because of the recent rain but the rest of the trail wasn't bad. Overall it was a nice hike right in the city and I very much enjoyed it. Will got back and complete the little but the inner trail that I didn't get to. I went after work on a weekday around 3pm and it was mostly empty save for some trail runners here and there. I mostly walked alone the entire time.

hiking
10 months ago

Roosevelt. Outdoors. Perfection near the city. Also saw a crew of corgis as we entered the island : ).

walking
11 months ago

a nice trail out of the way of the city. very flat and a pretty simple, if ultimately peaceful walk. a little hard to get to without a car... walk about 10 minutes from the Rosslyn metro station

running
11 months ago

A trail oasis in the middle of the city.

running
Saturday, September 08, 2018

Great location to start/end a long run. Started here and then ran across Teddy Roosevelt bridge and into Georgetown. Came back and finished with another lap around Teddy Roosevelt island. This is one of my favorite monuments.

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