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Sunday, December 14, 2014

#49 - Gravelly Point to Theodore Roosevelt Island

A jet taking off from Reagan National Airport - Gravelly Point
What a great hike this turned out to be! It has a little bit of everything, from jet airliners roaring overhead, Potomac River and National Monument views, all leading to a wooded island that ends at an impressive monument celebrating our 26th President.

It's all part of the 18 mile Mount Vernon Trail. This is a diverse trail that spans from George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. I have run, biked, and hiked portions of this trail over the years, but the 7 miles from Gravelly Point to the Island and back was a first for me - and it is a "must do" for those wanting a nice hike with great views.

The day was sunny and cool as I parked at Gravelly Point Park. This is a great starting point, and many people were here simply to picnic and watch the jet airplanes, and other critters, take-off and land.

I picked up the trail right here, and heading in toward the city, followed along the river, though never crossing. It is a beautiful area with trees (the Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove is here), grassy areas, bridges, and paths - all within view of some of our Nation's largest monuments.

There are many moments when the city seems far, far away, then you come out of the park setting to see familiar surroundings.


Alas, you come upon Theodore Roosevelt Island. I have passed this many times, but wasn't certain what, if anything, was there. I was happy to see a 1.3 mile loop through the woods, ending at a beautiful monument area.

Forest to swamp, I would have never had known the Kennedy Center was just across the river had there been leaves on the trees. A sanctuary of nature - all very well done.

Near the end of the loop is the monument. It is the first time I had seen this one. It almost seemed forgotten on this day.

In part: "The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value."

In part: "It is hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

In part: "Courageous hard work, self mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life."

In part: "If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness."
A very cool trip around the island, with a 3 mile hike back to Gravelly Point. So many opportunities to veer off and keep looking. To keep exploring.

Kennedy Center

Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol

A Memorial to all who work the seas. Navy, Merchant Marines, Watermen.
Back at the car, I had thoroughly enjoyed this day.

Keep Hiking, Friends!


  1. Mike - another great blog and I am now looking forward to the big finish


    1. Thanks, Steve! It's been a lot of fun! I wish I could start over from the beginning, but it's time to move on; er...hike on!