The George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) preserves the natural scenery along the Potomac River. It connects the historic sites from Mount Vernon, where Washington lived, past the nation's capital, which he founded, and to the Great Falls of the Potomac where the President demonstrated his skill as an engineer.
Developed as a memorial to George Washington, the Parkway may be used on any day to travel to exciting historical, natural, and recreational areas. These places are all linked by this planned and landscaped road, the first section of which was completed in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birth.
Considered a commuter route by many local residents, the GWMP offers the traveler much more than convenience. It is a route to scenic, historic and recreational settings offering respite from the urban pressures of metropolitan Washington. It also protects the Potomac River shoreline and watershed. The parkway provides a pleasant day from Mount Vernon to Great Falls, passing through the same lands George Washington frequently traveled by horse. The Parkway links a group of parks that provide a variety of experiences to millions of people each year.
One of the best ways to visit the Parkway is to go for a scenic drive. Stop along the Parkway and visit one or several of the memorials or natural areas. Take stroll along the paved Mount Vernon Trail or take a hike in the woods on Theodore Roosevelt Island. You may even enjoy a talk given by a Park Ranger at Arlington House,
Clara Barton National Historic Site or Great Falls Park. There are countless activities to do while on the Parkway, just remember to have fun and always be safe.
Arlington House, The Robert E Lee Memorial - Historic home with period furnishings. The Memorial is accessible by shuttle bus or by a 10-minute walk from the Arlington National Cemetery Visitor Center/parking area. Access from Washington DC is via the Memorial Bridge. Access from Virginia is from the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Robert E. Lee's birthday is recognized in January and the Lees' wedding anniversary is observed June 30 with special guests. (703) 235-1530.
Turkey Run Park - Nestled atop the wooded hills of Turkey Run Park are three picnic areas with hiking trails close by. Picnic areas include tables, trash cans, and restroom facilities. Turkey Run Park is located in McLean, Virginia, two miles off the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) on the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP). From beltway exit 43 (old exit 14), follow the GWMP two miles to the Turkey Run Park exit on the right. (703) 289-2500.
Great Falls Park - Start your visit at the Visitor Center. Rangers can help you plan your visit with an orientation to the park. Maps and brochures are available at the information desk. Exhibits tell the story of the Patowmack Canal, George Washington's connection to Great Falls, Potomac River and geologic features. Great Falls, Virginia. From Interstate 495, take exit 44 (old exit 13), (Georgetown Pike exit). On Georgetown Pike, travel 4 miles to Old Dominion Drive. Turn right on Old Dominion Drive and straight into the park. (703) 285-2965.
The Parkway is adjacent to the Potomac River North and South of Washington, D.C. and is accessible from all major travel routes from the South and West of Washington, including I-495, I-95, and I-66.