Less than a century ago, Mason’s Island was a messy, overgrown green space atop the Potomac with very little to offer the public. But in the 1930s, as an homage to President Theodore Roosevelt, landscape architects started to reimagine it. They also renamed it Theodore Roosevelt Island Park.
The architects took a hard look at what the island looked like in its earliest days before it had been touched by man. They dreamt up a “real forest” design that would restore Theodore Roosevelt Island Park back to its original glory while also celebrating the 26th president of the United States. Their creativity continues to impress tourists and locals alike, many of whom come to hike the trails that slice through the scenic woods or snap photos of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial. If you enjoy wildlife, download the birding checklist before you go to the island. You may need to study up a bit to be able to identify each of the feathered figures on the list since the island is home to a large roster of winged residents.