Trail length: 1.5 mile loop
Skill level: easy
Main usage: walking, hiking, trail running
See the Quarry where the stone that was used to build two of the nation’s most significant buildings – the White House and the U.S. Capitol – was sourced. Government Island is an historic 18th century quarry site that provided Aquia sandstone for the construction of the White House and U.S. Capitol when our nation was very young. During George Washington’s Presidency, Government Island was purchased by Pierre L’Enfant on behalf of the federal government in 1791 to provide stone to build the nation’s new capital city – Washington, D.C.
Now a natural park preserve and archaeological site, Government Island contains a trail and interpretive signs to help depict its rich, nationally significant history. The total length of the trail is approximately 1.5 miles (from the parking lot, to and around the island, and back). Government Island is an ideal location to observe aquatic and native plants, as well as birds and other wildlife.
Dogs on leash are welcome. The beginning asphalt path and boardwalk are both handicapped accessible.