Congress originally set aside the parkway as part of a "comprehensive park, parkway, and playground system of the National Capital." Here are just a few of the many ways that the parkway lives up to that mission.
One lane of the loop road in Fort Hunt Park and the paved multi-use Mount Vernon Trail are flat, car-free places to bicycle.
Canoeing or Kayaking
An easy, flat water paddle through Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve or around Jones Point Park is the best way to see how the Potomac River shapes the park.
Easy hikes are available on the Haul Road trail in Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, the Civilian Conservation Corps era trails in Fort Hunt Park, and the interpretive trail at Jones Point Park.
Moderate hikes with some steep slopes and rock scrambles are available on the Potomac Heritage Trail and in Turkey Run Park.
There are picnic tables at Fort Hunt Park and Turkey Run Park.
Playing Field or Court Games
Several large grassy fields are available for informal games at Fort Hunt Park and Jones Point Park. There are also softball diamonds and Fort Hunt Park and basketball courts at Jones Point Park.
Birders will find habitat for wading birds, raptors, and warblers in Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.
Wildflowers put on a spectacular show in Turkey Run Park in spring and early summer.
Walking or Running
One lane of the loop road in Fort Hunt Park, trails in Jones Point Park, and the Mount Vernon Trail are flat, paved places to run or walk.