Frequently Asked Questions

Is the island open at night?
The island is open from 6 am to 10 pm. Please remember that the island is in an urban setting and use caution if visiting after dark.

Will I be able to park my car?
There are about 90 parking spots in the parking lot. They can fill quickly on weekends, but there is usually enough turnover that you will not have to wait more than 15 minutes to park. You may only park in marked spots. You can be ticketed for parking anywhere else.

Can I ride my bike on the island?
Bicycles are not allowed on the island—the trails were not built for them—so there is a bike rack at the entrance.

Where can I go fishing?
With the proper fishing license, you can fish in the park. Many anglers fish from the Virginia shoreline in the parking lot. The island is a busy place, so please be careful when casting your line.

Can I put a boat into the water?
There are a few spots near the parking lot that are suitable for launching a canoe or kayak. These vary depending on the height of the water. Watch out for loose rocks and slippery algae.

Can I land a boat on the island?
The north and northeast sides of the island tend to have the firmest sand and are best for landing a canoe or kayak. The rest of the shoreline can be quite mucky. If you land at the northeast corner of the island you can reach the Swamp Trail. There is no way to secure a boat, so be prepared to leave someone with yours to prevent it from floating away on the tide or being stolen.

Can I go swimming?
Swimming is not allowed in the Potomac River near Theodore Roosevelt Island. You can be ticketed for entering the river from park land.

Can I have a picnic?
There are no picnic tables on the island, but many people stop for a snack at the memorial plaza. There are benches and water fountains. There are also benches along the boardwalk section of the Swamp Trail. Please remember to take your trash with you when you leave.

What should I see when I visit?
There is a statue to Theodore Roosevelt in the middle of the island, but the whole island was designed as a tribute to him. The Swamp Trail follows the shoreline and gives a good overview of the landscapes that were created in his honor. Theodore Roosevelt especially loved birds, and the boardwalk section of the Swamp Trail is a great place to see them.

What kinds of animals live here?
There are a few large mammals (like deer and foxes) that live on the island for all or part of the year. Many, many birds either visit the island year round (like woodpeckers, herons, and ducks) or stop in on their way between wintering and summering grounds (like warblers). There are a few snakes on the island. (None are poisonous.) There are lots of frogs and fish. And, of course, there are countless insects.

How big is Theodore Roosevelt Island?
It is about 88.5 acres. If you walk around it on the Swamp Trail you will go about 1.5 miles.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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700 George Washington Memorial Parkway
McLean, VA 22101


703 289-2500

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