That was a nice Saturday: bright, sunny, and breezy. Perfect day to explore Theodore Roosevelt Island.
For un-automobile’d walking folk such as I, the easiest way to the island is via a bridge near the Rosslyn Metro. From the Metro exit (after turning around from the escalators), cross the street and the little plaza and go left — that is, north. Follow N Lynn St, crossing over Route 66, until the intersection with the Potomac Heritage Trail. Go right, cross the bridge over the GW Memorial Parkway, and you will arrive at a parking lot, from where a little footbridge spans the river to the island.
Delightful little island, right in the middle of the Potomac river. It’s heavily wooded, with three major trails — the Wood Trail, the Upland Trail, and the boardwalked Swamp Trail — converging on a Memorial Plaza with a bronze statue of Teddy himself, right arm defiantly raised. (All that’s missing is a big stick.) Ringing the plaza are four monolithic tablets inscribed with quotes from Roosevelt on nature, manhood, youth, and the state.
Wildlife is small but varied: all I saw was squirrels, but a passing couple said they had seen a raccoon and a fox. At the south swamp I paused to watch a huge blue heron stalk through the muddy shallows catching fish, while three turtles ducked in and out of the water around it. There were several people on the trails, many walking dogs, but tourist volume for a weekend afternoon was nowhere near as bad as it gets on The National Mall. But for the noise of far-off firetruck sirens and airplanes taking off from National Airport, one could almost forget he was still in the city. A wonderful little haven; I’ll be returning there a lot, I think.