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George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area.

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Image Credit: George Washington Memorial Parkway


Open to vehicles 24 hours a day

Other park sites open usually 6:00am to 10:00pm

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Most ranger-led programs on the parkway are free. Fees are required for some activities at Glen Echo Park, including carousel rides, theater shows, and dances.


  • Hiking
  • Birding
  • Plants and flowers
  • Special events
  • Ranger led programs
  • Bicycling
  • Canoe/kayaking
  • Walking/running


The George Washington Memorial Parkway stands as a memorial to George Washington. It connects historic sites from Washington's home at Mt. Vernon, past the nation's capital, to the Great Falls of the Potomac, where Washington demonstrated his skill as an engineer.

Along the way, visitors to this historic roadway can explore our Nation's history, from George Washington to World War II and beyond. 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 Parkway 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.

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 more than 9 million people each year.

There are many ways to explore the Parkway. Ranger led programs are available year round daily at Great Falls Park, Clara Barton National Historic Site, Glen Echo Park, and Arlington House. Programs are available by reservation at many other locations including Turkey Run Park, Fort Marcy, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove, Dyke Marsh, and Fort Hunt Park.


Last updated: March 15, 2021
Potomac Trail