Best secret workout spot
Readers’ pick: Run at Theodore Roosevelt Island
If you’ve spent more than a week at GW, chances are you’ve gone for a midnight run or walk at the National Mall. But even if your everyday workout views are normally white marble and Lincoln’s stoic stare, you probably have at least one monument to check off your list – Theodore Roosevelt Island.
The island is easily spotted while sipping cocktails at the Georgetown harbor, but too many people are unaware of the natural beauty and tranquil space floating in the Potomac.
You can access the island by foot, car or bike via the Mount Vernon Trail entrance near the Kennedy Center. After crossing a few bridges, you’re greeted with a few miles of trails weaving around the island. The forest is dense compared to the rest of D.C., making it easy to feel like you’re getting lost in the 90 acres.
While there, pay a visit to the pavilion in the center of the island, which is the memorial to President Theodore Roosevelt. Rumor has it that if you visit on Oct. 27, Roosevelt’s birthday, you may even run into the president himself.
Roosevelt Island is the perfect place for a workout, not only because of the scenery, but because it’s rarely crowded and there is no traffic to dodge. Take a brisk walk to the island as a warm-up, then try a few miles of interval running on boarded walkways around the perimeter and finish up with bodyweight exercises, stretching or some yoga at the pavilion or on one of the river’s sandbars.
If you’re looking to get even farther out of the city, hop on your bike and make a day of it. The island is just the first stop on the Mount Vernon Trail, a paved bike path that will take you into the heart of Old Town Alexandria or all the way to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate in just 18 miles.