I always hated the early season conditioning for soccer and swimming, when my coaches whipped me into shape by sending our team on endless runs. I couldn’t begin to fathom running for miles on my own, much less actually enjoying it. All this jibber jabber about runners high and finding a rhythm seemed ludicrous to me.
This all changed though, during my first summer home from college when I finally found my footing. Running through the wooded trails of Poor Farm Park, I became entranced by long distance running and as I built my endurance, I understood runner’s addiction. The constant movement of my body created a stillness in my mind and I found every day I would wake craving another run.
When I moved to Arlington, I began my search for trails, and one day after taking a chance, I luckily stumbled upon Teddy Roosevelt Island. Running over the bridge and entering the wooded island, I immediately found the escape I was looking for. The gravel trails led me around the island providing great scenic views of picturesque Georgetown and enchanting glimpses of wildlife (last time I almost ran over a snake…eeek!) all from the heart of the city.
Now every week I try to run at least once here. I’ve developed a routine that allows me to feel the same love for running I had that summer. I love jogging down the pier on the backside of the island through the marshland, then running uphill, and finally rewarding myself with a water break in the middle courtyard with my good buddy Teddy.
So lace up those running shoes, set your timer, and take an afternoon run on the serene island just a few steps away.
Before you go exploring, here are some quick facts about Teddy Roosevelt Island:
- The island is a 91 acre Nature Reserve honoring Mister Teddy Roosevelt and his work towards preserving all the island stands for: forests, nature, flora, and fauna.
- It offers 2 1/2 miles of trails to explore.
- It houses a 17 ft statue of Teddy and 21 ft granite tablets displaying his conservationist convictions, along with fountains surrounding the monument.
- It’s about two blocks away from downtown Rosslyn and the turn off is right before the Key Bridge. The bridge to access the island is located right along the Mt. Vernon Trail.
- The island is open from dawn till dusk so you can squeeze in a run before or after work.
- Sorry bikers, no bicycles allowed.
If you’d like to see more information and photos from Teddy Roosevelt Island, click here.