Basic Information


Leave No Trace
Over 160,000 people visit this tiny island every year. That's a lot of feet per square feet! Please help reduce your footprint by following Leave No Trace principles during your visit:

  • Travel on official trails;
  • Take your trash (and pet waste) with you when you leave;
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them;
  • Observe wildlife from a distance; and
  • Be courteous of other visitors.

You may bring your pet with you to the park. With the exception of service animals, pets are not permitted on ranger-led programs.

At all times pets must be restrained on a leash no more than six feet long. Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from other hazards, such as sick, injured, or rabid animals. Leashes also help protect park resources, including wildlife and vegetation.

Pet owners are responsible for picking up pet waste and disposing of it at home.

Pets should not be left unattended. Summer sunshine poses a threat to pets left in vehicles. On a bright, sunny day, even in temperatures as low as 60° F, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car—even with the windows cracked—can reach over 100 degrees within 10 minutes.


Summers on the island are generally hot and humid, with daytime highs frequently above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and scattered afternoon thunderstorms. Please carry water while participating in physical activity and be prepared to take shelter from lightning.

Winters on the island are generally cold, with nighttime lows frequently near freezing and occasional snowfall. Please be alert for icy spots on the trails. The boardwalk section of the Swamp Trail can be particularly slippery in the snow.

Weather during spring and fall is generally moderate, but can change quickly, especially near the Potomac River. Layers of clothing are recommended. Spring floods may close some sections of the Swamp Trail.

Last updated: March 5, 2016

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

700 George Washington Memorial Parkway
McLean, VA 22101


703 289-2500

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