George Washington Memorial Parkway

The George Washington Memorial Parkway, colloquially the G.W. Parkway, is a 25-mile-long (40 km) parkway that runs along the south bank of the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, Virginia, northwest to McLean, Virginia, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). It is located almost entirely within Virginia, except for a short portion of the parkway northwest of the Arlington Memorial Bridge that passes over Columbia Island within the District of Columbia.

The parkway is separated into two sections joined by Washington Street (State Route 400) in Alexandria. A third section, which is the Clara Barton Parkway, runs on the opposite side of the Potomac River in the District of Columbia and suburban Montgomery County, Maryland. A fourth section was originally proposed for Fort Washington, Maryland, but never built. The parkway has been designated an All-American Road.

Virginia's official state designation for the parkway is State Route 90005.[3]

Logo of the United States National Park Service

George Washington Memorial Parkway
G.W. Parkway
George Washington Memorial Parkway - Reference Map
Map of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (1994)
Route information
Maintained by NPS
Length24.9 mi[2] (40.1 km)
ExistedMay 29, 1930–present
George Washington Memorial Parkway
RestrictionsNo commercial vehicles[1]
Southern segment
South end SR 235 in Mount Vernon, VA
North end SR 400 in Alexandria, VA
Northern segment
South end SR 400 in Alexandria, VA
I-395 / US 1 in Arlington, VA

SR 27 in Washington, DC
I-66 / US 50 in Arlington, VA
US 29 in Arlington, VA

SR 123 in McLean, VA
North end I-495 in Langley, VA
StatesVirginia, District of Columbia
Highway system
All-American Roads

Route description

Southern section

2016-10-22 14 41 22 View north at the south end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway at Virginia State Route 235 (Mount Vernon Highway) in Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia
View north at the south end of the parkway in Mount Vernon

At Mount Vernon, the parkway begins at a traffic circle, where it joins/leaves SR 235. Most of this route was taken from the Washington, Alexandria and Mount Vernon Railway's right-of-way. The southern section is a limited-access highway, but with at-grade intersections. It extends from Mount Vernon, past Fort Hunt to South Washington Street at the southern end of Alexandria. The Mount Vernon Trail parallels the southern and middle sections of the parkway (from Mount Vernon to Theodore Roosevelt Island), and is often filled with recreational and commuter cyclists and runners. Points of interest on or near the parkway are Mount Vernon Plantation, Huntley Meadows Park, P. O. Box 1142, Fort Hunt Park, Dyke Marsh, Hunting Creek, Jones Point, and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Although designated as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Washington Street in Alexandria still belongs to and is maintained by the City of Alexandria. In 1929, the city and the federal government entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA). The MOA gave the federal government a permanent and irrevocable easement over Washington Street. It also called for the construction of roundabouts at both the north and south ends of Washington Street as transition points between the rural and urban sections of the parkway.[4] Finally, the MOA required Alexandria to adopt zoning regulations so that construction along Washington Street would be "of such character and of such types of buildings as will be in keeping with the dignity, purpose and memorial character of said highway".[5]

Commercial vehicles, such as trucks, are prohibited from the George Washington Memorial Parkway. However, taxicabs and airport shuttles are allowed to operate on the parkway.[1]

Northern section

2016-10-23 12 48 48 View south along the George Washington Memorial Parkway at Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) in McLean, Fairfax County, Virginia
View south at the north end of the parkway in McLean

The northern section extends from North Washington Street at First Street, at the northern end of Old Town Alexandria, to its terminus at Interstate 495 (I-495, Capital Beltway), in Fairfax County, just south of the Potomac River. It follows the Potomac River, passing through Arlington County, and serves as the primary access point to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Parkway also provides automobile access to Theodore Roosevelt Island, the LBJ National Grove, Gravelly Point Park, Fort Marcy, Columbia Island Marina and Turkey Run Park. There are scenic view rest areas for those wishing to view the Georgetown skyline and the Potomac Palisades. The cloverleaf interchange with the 14th Street Bridge, dating to 1932, is one of the oldest cloverleaf interchanges in the United States. The Spout Run Parkway connects the George Washington Memorial Parkway to US Route 29 (US 29), providing an indirect connection to I-66. The portion of the parkway north of National Airport and SR 233 is part of the National Highway System.

2016-10-06 14 17 57 View north along the George Washington Memorial Parkway just after crossing Boundary Channel onto Columbia Island in Washington, D.C.
View north along the parkway on Columbia Island in Washington, D.C.


Early efforts to build a road

The trip by DC area residents to see George Washington's family estate at Mount Vernon was seen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a patriotic duty as well as an opportunity to learn about American history and democratic values. In the late 19th century, most people took a steamboat excursion from DC (it also made a stop in Alexandria).[6] By the 1920s, 200,000 people a year were visiting Mount Vernon.[7]

In the 1880s, officials in Alexandria, Virginia, attempted to boost local commerce by advocating for a "national road" to Mt. Vernon. They formed the Mount Vernon Avenue Association in September 1887, to promote this idea.[8] Congress appropriated $10,000 for a survey in 1889. The United States Army Corps of Engineers conducted the survey, and in its report agreed that a superior, no-expense-spared road from Alexandria to Mount Vernon was necessary. However, construction of the Washington, Alexandria, and Mount Vernon Railway (an inexpensive commuter trolley/streetcar system) between 1892 and 1896 dealt a serious blow to the plan.[9]

During the Alexandria Sesquicentennial in 1899, several Alexandria civic boosters called for a bridge to be built between Alexandria and Washington, DC. This reignited interest in a roadway to Mount Vernon. The idea generated interest among many of the individuals active in the City Beautiful movement, Colonial Revival architecture movement, and groups dedicated to promoting local and national history. Soon, the idea of a roadway became a call for a grandiose, monumental avenue lined with Beaux-Arts memorials, tombs, and roadside attractions. The idea received even more impetus when the Daughters of the American Revolution took up the cause.[10] In 1902, the McMillan Plan endorsed a road along the Virginia side of the Potomac River shoreline. Although Virginia was outside the plan's scope, the Senate Park Commission (which drafted the plan) saw a Mount Vernon avenue as an extension of the DC park system as well as a means of protecting the Great Falls of the Potomac River and the Potomac Palisades. The McMillan Plan, however, focused not on a monumental avenue but on tree-lined boulevards and quiet carriage paths designed to relax and calm.[11]

First efforts by Bureau of Public Roads

The Mount Vernon Avenue Association disbanded some time during World War I,[12] but the concept of a Mount Vernon roadway was now championed by the federal Bureau of Public Roads (BPR). The BPR seized on the idea in the 1920s as a means of demonstrating the latest highway construction technology. Its first proposals were merely to upgrade the existing roads in the area and perhaps add a tree-lined boulevard, with formal, uninspired masonry bridges.[13] But the BPR's proposals quickly evolved into much more. The agency hired Gilmore David Clarke and Jay Downer, who had designed the highly celebrated Central Westchester Parkway in New York, as consultants. They quickly proposed a more elaborate system of plantings, historic roadside pullouts, and scenic overlooks, and a more sinuous road design. The BPR began calling the road a "highway" rather than a parkway to de-emphasize its commemorative nature in the hope that Congress would fund its construction.[14]

As the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of George Washington approached in 1932, the BPR took advantage of the national interest in the nation's first president to push its idea for a Mount Vernon roadway. It changed its approach, now re-emphasizing the commemorative nature of the road. It also began publishing books, pamphlets, and technical drawings; printing photographs; displaying models in the Capitol Rotunda; and exhibiting Washingtoniana alongside its materials in a well-organized public relations push designed to build public support for the project and win congressional approval. It even commissioned a 30-minute film lauding the idea.[15]

The establishment of the George Washington Bicentennial Commission was the critical event which got the highway bill through Congress.[16] During hearings in the House of Representatives on the issue, the American Civic Association, the National Council for the Protection of Roadside Beauty, and other groups testified that the existing roads to Mount Vernon were heavily lined with tawdry billboards, tourist traps, garish filling stations, and fast food joints.[17] Representative R. Walton Moore introduced legislation in early 1924 to build a memorial highway to Mount Vernon, which was endorsed by the District of Columbia Chapter of the Colonial Dames of America and Charles Moore, chairman of the United States Commission of Fine Arts.[18] During House hearings in April 1924, the BPR drew attention to the poor condition of the existing roads, and their inability to handle more traffic. Although the existing Mount Vernon Avenue from Arlington National Cemetery to Alexandria was in good condition, the roads from Arlington Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon Avenue and from Gum Springs to Mount Vernon were not. The BPR said a highway along the existing ridge-top route would cost $890,000 to $1.2 million (and it recommended the latter).[19] But the 1924 bill went nowhere.

Rep. Moore introduced another bill in 1926. Although this bill also failed, the House Committee on Roads passed a bill authorizing BPR to survey "a route" and provide cost estimates for construction. Historic American Buildings Survey historian Sara Amy Leach has suggested that BPR's emphasis on an extremely wide right-of-way indicates that the agency was willing to abandon the inland, ridge-top route in favor of one along the Potomac River's edge.[20] Just who suggested the river's edge route is not clear, but Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. of the famed nationally known park landscaping firm from New York, is known to have suggested it in March 1926, to Commission of Fine Arts chairman Moore, who passed it along to Rep. Moore, who in turn passed it on to BPR. But in May 1926, the BPR issued a draft report in which it still favored the ridge-top route. BPR then abandoned this idea, and produced a final report in January 1927, advocating the river's edge route.[21] The river's edge route was relatively flat (unlike the ridge-top route, which had steep grades), had few intersecting roads, needed few underpasses and overpasses, and nearly all the land was already owned by the federal government. It was admittedly more expensive than the ridge-top route ($4.2 million, or 25 percent more). The Secretary of War, Commission of Fine Arts, National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Virginia Highway Commission, and Alexandria Chamber of Commerce all supported the BPR proposal.[22] Opposition to the river's edge route came from Fairfax County merchants, who pointed to the ridge-top route's extensive vistas, the need for extensive land reclamation at several points (Fourmile Run, Roaches Run, and Great Hunting Creek), and the proximity of the route to the railroad tracks and industrial buildings at the Potomac Yards.[23]

The Mount Vernon Memorial Highway of 1928

Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
George Washington Memorial Parkway is located in the District of Columbia
George Washington Memorial Parkway
George Washington Memorial Parkway is located in the United States
George Washington Memorial Parkway
LocationWashington St. and George Washington Memorial Pkwy., Washington, District of Columbia
Area515 acres (208 ha)
ArchitectUS Bureau of Public Roads
NRHP reference #81000079[24]
VLR #029-0218
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 18, 1981
Designated VLRMarch 17, 1981[25]
Mount Vernon Memorial Parkway LOC hec 39185
Mount Vernon Memorial Highway in 1935

In 1928, Moore and Senator Claude A. Swanson introduced identical bills (S.1369 and H.R. 4625) to build a memorial highway from Arlington Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon at a cost of $4.5 million. The Washington Bicentennial Commission would oversee the project, with support from the United States Department of Agriculture with surveys, architectural and engineering plans, land acquisition, construction, etc. The bicentennial commission was also authorized to determine the route. Proponents of the ridge-top route pressed their case, but Moore pointed to the 1927 BPR report, as expert proof that the river's-edge route was preferable. Support for the Moore-Swanson bill also came from President Calvin Coolidge, the bicentennial commission, the US Senate, the Bureau of the Budget, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association.[26] S. 1369 passed the Senate on March 6, 1928.[27] (No vote totals were reported.)

In the House, the cost of the bill, the use of federal funds for a local infrastructure project, and concerns that a highway was not the appropriate way to commemorate George Washington all were raised as objections to the bill. Rep. Louis C. Cramton, leader of a coalition of interests that wanted to protect the Potomac River banks from any development, criticized the damage to the environment the highway would cause, the stuffy architectural designs, and the elaborate roadside attractions which had been proposed.[28] But patriotic concerns won the day. The House voted in favor of HR 4625 by a margin of 177 to 61 on May 22, 1928.[29] President Calvin Coolidge signed the measure into law on May 24.[30]

The legislation authorizing construction of the George Washington Memorial Highway is Public Law 493. Its formal title is "An act to authorize and direct the survey, construction, and maintenance of a memorial highway to connect Mount Vernon, in the State of Virginia, with the Arlington Memorial Bridge across the Potomac River at Washington." After the law's passage, BPR issued yet another report advocating the river's edge route. On January 25, 1929, the bicentennial commission decided the highway should follow the river route.[29][31]

Expansion into the current parkway

The parkway's original name was the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. But Congress renamed it the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 1930, and authorized its extension to the "Great Falls of the Potomac River".[32] The idea for a large George Washington Memorial Parkway came from Rep. Cramton, who introduced legislation in January 1929, to construct a larger system of roads and parks.[33][34] In the US Senate, the bill was amended by Sen. Carter Glass to include a bridge across the Potomac at the Great Falls.[35] Congress enacted the "Act of May 29, 1930" (46 Stat. 482)—more commonly known as the Capper-Cramton Act—to establish the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Act appropriated $13.5 million to acquire land and build a Parkway on the Virginia southern shoreline from Mount Vernon to the Great Falls" (excluding the city of Alexandria), and to also build a parkway on the Maryland northern shoreline from Fort Washington, Maryland, to the Great Falls of the Potomac (excluding the District of Columbia). A bridge across the Potomac at or near the Great Falls was also included in the final bill. Included in the parkway were to be lands to extend the park and playground lands of the National Capital Parks system, and for the acquisition and preservation of the Patowmack Canal and a portion (below Point of Rocks) of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.[36]

The George Washington Memorial Parkway was built in stages between 1929 and 1970.[37] The first segment, the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, stretches from Arlington Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon and was completed in 1932.[37] The northern sections of the Parkway were mostly completed in the 1950s-1960s.[37] The portion of the parkway from Glebe Road to I-495, was built primarily to provide access for workers at the new Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in 1959.[38] The portion of the parkway just north of the Key Bridge was considered a model of modern highway design, and it was featured in many scholarly papers, engineering journals, and textbooks of the day.[39] The Capper-Cramton Act received significant amendments in 1946, 1952, and 1958, both funding and terminating significant portions of the unbuilt parkway.[36] The most significant changes came when Congress declined to fund construction of the segments from Fort Washington to the District of Columbia, from I-495 in Virginia to the Great Falls, and from MacArthur Boulevard/Carderock north to the Great Falls. Significant opposition to these segments emerged from the Izaak Walton League, the Wilderness Society, and other groups, which argued that the environmental damage caused by these segments would be too severe to justify their construction.[40]

Over time, small additions were made to the parks and roads included in the larger areas administered by the George Washington Memorial Parkway. These included Memorial Drive (the short section of roadway from the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery, at Theodore Roosevelt Island (added in 1933), and the LBJ Memorial Grove on Columbia Island in 1974.[41]

Administrative history

George Washington Parkway 12 2009 8182
Ramp entrance from the GW Parkway to the scenic overlook to the Potomac River

The parkway was authorized May 29, 1930, and transferred from the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital on August 10, 1933. On November 28, 1989, the portion in Maryland was renamed the Clara Barton Parkway. The parkway also administers other National Park Service features and areas in the vicinity. Parkway sites include:[42]

Information, brochures, maps, and stamps are in the Parkway headquarters located next to the US Park Police station in McLean, Virginia. The Park Police is the primary police agency responsible for patrolling the George Washington Parkway, the Clara Barton Parkway, and the above listed areas.

Previously proposed connection

George Washington Parkway 04 2012 1403
Northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Arlington, Virginia

The Clara Barton Parkway is administratively part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It was signed and designated as the George Washington Memorial Parkway until 1989, when it was renamed to overcome motorist confusion with the main segment in Virginia.[43]

The parkways on the two sides of the river were originally supposed to be joined by a bridge at the Great Falls of the Potomac River. However, opposition from preservationists led to the cancellation of that bridge. Instead, traffic between the two parkways uses the American Legion Bridge downstream. The Virginia side of the Potomac River at Great Falls is managed by the Superintendent of the parkway as a national park site, known as Great Falls Park. Some elements of the proposed final parkway configuration—such as the concrete bridge that would have carried northbound traffic at the Glen Echo turn-around—were built but have never been used.

Major intersections

All exits are unnumbered.

VirginiaFairfaxMount Vernon0.00.0 SR 235 to I-95 north – WashingtonTraffic circle
Fort Hunt2.74.3Fort Hunt Road – Fort Hunt Park
Hunting Creek8.413.5Bridge; southern terminus of SR 400
City of Alexandria9.315.0 SR 236 west (Duke Street)Eastern terminus of SR 236, Duke Street continues east
9.515.3 SR 7 west (King Street)Eastern terminus of SR 7, King Street continues east
10.216.4First Street / Abingdon DriveAt-grade intersection; northern terminus of SR 400
Four Mile Run10.116.3Bridge
ArlingtonCrystal City12.520.1 Reagan National AirportNo northbound exit; via SR 233
13.221.2 Reagan National AirportNo southbound entrance; via West Entrance Road
Long Bridge Park14.323.0 I-395 (US 1) to I-66 – Richmond, WashingtonExits 10B-C on I-395
District of ColumbiaWashington
(Columbia Island)
US 50 west / Arlington Memorial Bridge – Arlington CemeteryUS 50 not signed southbound
15.424.8 SR 27 to I-395 – LBJ Memorial Grove, PentagonNo direct northbound exit
VirginiaArlingtonRosslyn16.125.9 I-66 east (Roosevelt Bridge) / US 50 – Washington, RosslynSouthbound exit and northbound entrance to I-66 / US 50 east; no northbound exit to US 50 west
16.827.0 US 29 north (Key Bridge)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
North Highland17.428.0abbr=abbr= Spout Run Parkway west to I-66 west / US 29 – WashingtonNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
FairfaxMcLean21.534.6 SR 123 (Chain Bridge) – Washington, McLean
23.037.0George Bush Center for Intelligence, CIA, FHWA
23.537.8 To I-495 – Turkey Run Park, WashingtonI-495 not signed northbound; access to I-495 via u-turn
24.940.1 I-495 – VirginiaExit 43 on I-495
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Image gallery

Gw pkwy at gravelly point

Vehicles round a bend in the parkway near Reagan-Washington National Airport and Gravelly Point in Arlington, Virginia

Potomac Trail along the GWMP

Portion of the Potomac Heritage Trail as it passes through marshland near Belle Haven

IMG 2237 - Clara Barton Pkwy at NSWC (looking west)

Clara Barton Parkway in Maryland

Houses along the George Washington Memorial Parkway

Houses along the parkway near Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon Memorial Parkway and George Washington Memorial Parkway

Aerial overview

See also

  • HistoricPlacesNationalRegisterPlaque.JPG National Register of Historic Places portal
  • Blank shield.svg U.S. Roads portal
  • Flag of Virginia.svg Virginia portal
  • Flag of the United States.svg United States portal



  1. ^ a b §7.96 National Capital Region. Code of Federal Regulations. July 1, 2013. 36 C.F.R. 7.96. Retrieved January 16, 2013..
  2. ^ a b Google (October 4, 2013). "George Washington Memorial Parkway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Traffic Engineering Division (2009). 2009 Virginia Department of Transportation Daily Traffic Volume Estimates Including Vehicle Classification Estimates (Where Available). Jurisdiction Report US (Federal) (PDF) (Report). Virginia Department of Transportation. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  4. ^ Smith 1999, p. 3
  5. ^ Smith 1999, p. 2
  6. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 140–1
  7. ^ Davis 2001, p. 133
  8. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 141–3
  9. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 148–50
  10. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 152–4
  11. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 155–6
  12. ^ Davis 2001, p. 157
  13. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 158, 160
  14. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 161–2
  15. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 166–7
  16. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, p. 67
  17. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, p. 69
  18. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, pp. 69–70
  19. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, pp. 70–1
  20. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, p. 71
  21. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, pp. 71–3
  22. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, pp. 74–5
  23. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, p. 75
  24. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  25. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  26. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, p. 77
  27. ^ "Mt. Vernon Highway Bill Passes Senate". Washington Post. March 7, 1928. p. 18.
  28. ^ Leach & Davis 1993, p. 78
  29. ^ a b Leach & Davis 1993, p. 79
  30. ^ "Coolidge Signs 31 Bills, Ship Measure Included". Washington Post. May 24, 1928. p. 4.
  31. ^ "Memorial Highway to Follow Route of Potomac River". Washington Post. January 25, 1929. p. 20.
  32. ^ Davis 2001, p. 177
  33. ^ "Women's Club to Hear About Parkway Plans". Washington Post. January 1, 1929.
  34. ^ "Cramton Urges His Park Building Bill". Washington Post. February 14, 1929. p. 4.
  35. ^ "Amendment Plans Great Falls Bridge". Washington Post. February 15, 1930. p. 3.
  36. ^ a b George Washington Memorial Parkway (Fall 2007). "Appendix C: Capper-Cramton Act". Great Falls Park Final General Management Plan/EIS. National Park Service. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  37. ^ a b c Davis, Timothy; Croteau, Todd & Payne, R.D. "A Model Parkway". Highways in Harmony: George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC (Leaflet). Washington, DC: National Park Service. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  38. ^ Davis 2001, p. 178
  39. ^ Davis 2001, p. 179
  40. ^ Davis 2001, pp. 179–80
  41. ^ Davis 2001, p. 181
  42. ^ "Reservation List: The Parks of the National Park System, Washington, DC" (PDF). National Park Service; Land Resources Program Center; National Capital Region. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  43. ^ Shaffer, Ron (June 25, 2006). "After 20 Years of Columns, Checking the Rearview Mirror One Last Time". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2007.

Works cited

External links

Route map:

Arcturus, Virginia

Arcturus is a neighborhood within the unincorporated community of Fort Hunt, Virginia in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Arcturus lies south of Alexandria between the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Potomac River.

Arlington Ridge Park

Arlington Ridge Park, also known as the Nevius Tract, is a historic park property located in Arlington, Virginia. The property lies within the boundaries of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It includes the Marine Corps War Memorial (1954), also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial; and the Netherlands Carillon (1960).It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Boundary Channel

Boundary Channel is a channel off the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The channel begins at the northwestern tip of Columbia Island extends southward between Columbia Island and the Virginia shoreline. It curves around the southern tip of Columbia Island before heading northeast to exit into the Potomac River. At the southwestern tip of Columbia Island, the Boundary Channel widens into the manmade Pentagon Lagoon.

Clara Barton Parkway

Clara Barton Parkway is an automobile parkway in the U.S. state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. The highway runs 6.8 miles (10.9 km) from MacArthur Boulevard in Carderock, Maryland, east to Canal Road at the Chain Bridge in Washington. Clara Barton Parkway is a two- to four-lane parkway that parallels the Potomac River in southwestern Montgomery County, Maryland, and the far western corner of Washington. The parkway provides access to the communities of Cabin John and Glen Echo and several units of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. The Maryland portion of the George Washington Memorial Parkway was constructed from Carderock past Interstate 495 (I-495) to Glen Echo in the early to mid-1960s. The parkway was proposed to continue west to Great Falls and east to Georgetown. However, these proposals never came to fruition and the parkway was extended only to the Chain Bridge in the early 1970s. The Maryland portion of the George Washington Memorial Parkway was renamed for Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, in 1989.

Donaldson Run

Donaldson Run is a stream in Arlington County, Virginia. From its source near Marymount University, Donaldson Run flows on a northeastern course and empties into the Potomac River within the Federal parklands of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Donaldson Run is surrounded predominantly by forests.

Dyke Marsh

Dyke Marsh is located on the west bank of the Potomac River south of Alexandria, Virginia between Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon. Dyke Marsh consists of about 380 acres (1.5 km2) of tidal marsh, floodplain, and swamp forest. It formed 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. With a total size of 485 acres, Dyke Marsh is one of the largest remaining pieces of freshwater tidal wetlands left in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The marsh is managed by the National Park Service as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Dyke Marsh contains a wide array of plant and animal life. "Haul Road" is a trail that leads visitors into the marsh. It is frequented by area birdwatchers. Dyke Marsh is located off the George Washington Memorial Parkway at the Belle Haven Marina exit.

Here the fresh water of the upper Potomac mixes with the salt water of the lower Potomac. The fresh water tends to float above the tidal salt water producing a tidal freshwater marsh.

Fort Hunt Park

Fort Hunt Park is a public park located in Fort Hunt, Fairfax County, Virginia. It is administered by the National Park Service as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The park preserves the remains of the eponymous Fort Hunt, portions of which date to the time of the Spanish–American War. The park was named after Brigadier General Henry Hunt, who served as chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. Remains of several of the fort's original batteries, including Battery Mount Vernon, Battery Robinson, and Battery Sater, and Battery Porter (named after Lt. James Porter, an officer who was killed at Custer's Last Stand at the Little Bighorn.), have been preserved, and may still be visited today. The structures have been stabilized enough that visitors are able to climb on them without difficulty. Besides the batteries, the battery commander's station still stands; in addition, a flagpole has been erected as a memorial to the intelligence officers who served at the fort during World War II.

Fort Hunt Park is open from dawn until dusk, year-round; access is from the George Washington Memorial Parkway or from Fort Hunt Road.

Fort Marcy Park

Fort Marcy Park is a public park located in unincorporated McLean, Virginia, in Fairfax County. It is administered by the National Park Service as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Gravelly Point

Gravelly Point is an area within the National Park Service's George Washington Memorial Parkway in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. It is located on the west side of the Potomac River, north of Roaches Run and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Great Falls (Potomac River)

Great Falls is a series of rapids and waterfalls on the Potomac River, 14 miles (23 km) upstream from Washington, D.C., on the border of Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax County, Virginia. Great Falls Park, operated by the National Park Service, is located on the southern banks in Virginia, while Chesapeake and Ohio Canal parkland is located along the northern banks of the river in Maryland. The Potomac and the falls themselves are legally entirely within Maryland, with the state and county boundaries following the south bank of the river.

Scenic views are offered on both the Maryland side and the Virginia side. The Billy Goat Trail on Bear Island, accessible from Maryland, offers scenic views of the Great Falls, as do vantage points on Olmsted Island (also accessible from Maryland). There are overlook points on the Virginia side.

The Great Falls area is popular for outdoor activities such as kayaking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking.

Great Falls and Little Falls (about 5 miles downstream) are named in contradistinction to one another.

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia, United States. Situated on 800 acres (3.65 km2) along the banks of the Potomac River in northern Fairfax County, the park is a disconnected but integral part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Great Falls of the Potomac River are near the northern boundary of the park, as are the remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States that used locks to raise and lower boats.

Gulf Branch

Gulf Branch is a stream in Arlington County, Virginia. From its source southwest of the Gulf Branch Nature Center, Gulf Branch flows on a northeastern course and empties into the Potomac River within the Federal parklands of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Gulf Branch is surrounded predominantly by forests.

Hunting Creek

Hunting Creek is a cove and tributary stream of the Potomac River between the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County in Virginia. It is formed by the confluence of Cameron Run and Hooff Run. The community of Huntington takes its name from the creek. Jones Point forms the north side. Dyke Marsh is just to the south. The George Washington Memorial Parkway crosses it on a bridge.

The creek is sometimes referred to as Great Hunting Creek, to distinguish it from Little Hunting Creek.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac

For more detailed information, see: Columbia Island (District of Columbia) § Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove.Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac is located on Columbia Island (renamed Lady Bird Johnson Park in 1968), in Washington, D.C. The memorial honors the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.

The grove consists of two parts. The first area, commemorative in nature, is a Texas granite monolith surrounded by a serpentine pattern of walks and trails. The second area is a grass meadow and provides a tranquil refuge for reflection and rejuvenation of the spirit. The trails are shaded by a grove of hundreds of white pine and dogwood trees, and framed by azaleas and rhododendron. The memorial overlooks the Potomac River with a vista of the city of Washington.

Visitors may listen to a recording made by Lady Bird Johnson at the entrance to the park facing The Pentagon. In the recording, the former First Lady talks about the creation of the park, the trees, and the views of major Washington D.C. landmarks.

The park also contains the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial, dedicated to the sailors and Merchant Mariners who died in the First World War.

Marine Corps War Memorial

The United States Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) is a national memorial located in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. Dedicated in 1954, it is located in Arlington Ridge Park with George Washington Memorial Parkway, near the Ord-Weitzel Gate to Arlington National Cemetery and the Netherlands Carillon. The war memorial is dedicated to all U.S. Marine Corps personnel who died in the defense of the United States since 1775.

The memorial was inspired by the iconic 1945 photograph of six Marines raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II taken by Associated Press combat photographer Joe Rosenthal. Upon first seeing the photograph, sculptor Felix de Weldon created a maquette for a sculpture based on the photo in a single weekend at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, where he was serving in the Navy. He and architect Horace W. Peaslee designed the memorial. Their proposal was presented to Congress, but funding was not possible during the war. In 1947, a federal foundation was established to raise funds for the memorial.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Fairfax County, Virginia

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Fairfax County, Virginia.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.There are 64 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county, including 4 National Historic Landmarks. Another property was once listed but has been removed.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted October 11, 2019.

Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial

The Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial, located in Lady Bird Johnson Park on Columbia Island in Washington, D.C., is a monument honoring sailors of the United States Navy and the United States Merchant Marine who died at sea during World War I. It was designed in 1922 by Harvey Wiley Corbett and sculpted by Ernesto Begni del Piatta. It was dedicated on October 18, 1934.

Nicknamed "Waves and Gulls," the memorial depicts seven seagulls above the crest of a wave. It is cast from aluminum and the base is made of green granite (the base was originally concrete but replaced by the Works Progress Administration in 1940). It stands 35 feet (10.6 m) tall and 30 feet (9.1 m) wide.

The memorial reads:

To the strong souls and ready valor of those men of the United States who in the Navy, the Merchant Marine and other paths of Activity upon the waters of the world have given life or still offer it in the performance of heroic deeds this monument is dedicated by a grateful people.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is an 88.5-acre (358,000 m2) island and national memorial located in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The island was given to the federal government by the Theodore Roosevelt Association in memory of the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. Until then, the island had been known as My Lord's Island, Barbadoes Island, Mason's Island, Analostan Island, and Anacostine Island.The island is maintained by the National Park Service, as part of the nearby George Washington Memorial Parkway. The land is generally maintained as a natural park, with various trails and a memorial plaza featuring a statue of Roosevelt. No cars or bicycles are permitted on the island, which is reached by a footbridge from Arlington, Virginia, on the western bank of the Potomac.

"In the 1930s landscape architects transformed Mason’s Island from neglected, overgrown farmland into Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial to America’s 26th president. They conceived a 'real forest' designed to mimic the natural forest that once covered the island. Today miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands honor the legacy of a great outdoorsman and conservationist."A small island, "Little Island," lies just off the southern tip; Georgetown and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts are respectively across the main channel of the Potomac to the north and the east.

Windy Run

Windy Run is a small stream in Arlington County, Virginia. From its source near Lorcom Lane, Windy Run flows on a northeastern course and empties into the Potomac River within the Federal parklands of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Windy Run is surrounded predominantly by forests. It is known by many of the Arlington locals as simply "The Falls".

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