The George Washington Memorial Parkway, commonly referred to as the G.W Parkway, is a 25-mile parkway that runs from Mount Vernon to McLean in Virginia. The National Park Service maintains the Parkway. Most part of it is located within Virginia except for a small portion that passes over to Columbia Island within the District of Columbia.
The G.W Parkway provides an exclusive passageway through incredible pieces of George Washington’s life right from his home in Mount Vernon, past the country capital city that he founded to the Great Falls of the Potomac where he demonstrated his incredible skills as an engineer.
Although it was established to serve as a memorial park for George Washington, the Parkway can be used by anyone on any day to travel to amazing historical, recreational, and natural areas. The first section of the Parkway was completed and officially launched in 1932 to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of George Washington’s birth.
Today, the Parkway is mostly used for recreational driving. At the same time, its associated trails provide a unique and scenic place to play, rest, and relax within the busy Washington DC metropolitan area.
The first section of the Parkway that runs from Arlington Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon was completed in 1932. The northern section of the Parkway was constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The final segment connecting the Parkway to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove was completed in 1974.
Important Attractions Along The G.W Parkway
The G.W Parkway features over 25 unique sites ranging from wildlife preserves to historic homes. The Great Falls Park is one of the most spectacular landmarks along the G.W Parkway within the Washington DC metropolitan area. The 800-acre park marvels visitors with its 20-foot waterfalls that provide a stunning view to cyclers, kayakers, hikers, rock climbers, and horse riders.
Turkey Run Park is another significant attraction along this Parkway. The park is located just off the G.W Parkway south of I-495. It features extensive picnic trails and hiking trails.
Theodore Roosevelt Island is a 91-acre wilderness preserve that serves as a memorial park honoring Roosevelt’s contributions to the conservation of national parks, bird refuges, and public lands for forests. The island features a 2.5-mile foot trail that visitors use to view a wide range of plants and animals. It also has a giant 17-foot bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt right at the center of the island.
Parking & Regulations
There are many parking spaces along the Parkway and pullouts with relatively small parking lots. The pullouts provide access to the restrooms, picnic tables, and Mount Vernon. Some of the pullouts allow visitors to access fishing spots along the Potomac.
Keep in mind that there is no visitor center for the G.W Memorial Parkway. Therefore, if you want your NPS passport stamped or simply wants more information about the Parkway, visit Glen Echo Park, Great Falls Park, or Arlington House official sites.
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