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Points Of Interest

Point #1
Map PinRock Creek Trail, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.03   Attraction : Start
POI 1 Tour Image
Let's Begin

Looks like you found our starting point. If you happened to notice the Cuban Friendship Urn, don’t worry, our tour ends right back here and I’m saving that information for the very end. For now, please take the crosswalk and head south toward the Potomac River.

Point #2
Map Pin971 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 0.15   Attraction : Bridges
POI 2 Tour Image
14th Street Bridges

Turn left here and start following the path. We are going to walk under a few bridges. Wanna hear about them? Good!

This first one is called the Arland D. Williams Jr Bridge. It was named after a hero in the tragic story of Air Florida Flight 90 back in 1982. He was a passenger on this flight when the airplane crashed into the bridge and then plunged into the icy Potomac River below. Arland Williams helped rescue the 5 survivors from the plane but then drowned before he could be rescued. He was a true hero.

The next bridge is the Charles R. Fenwick Bridge, named after a Virginia Senator. This bridge is for the Yellow Metro Line to get across the river.

Our third bridge here is called Long Bridge. It used to be a wooden toll bridge back in 1809. British forces set fire to the north end of Long Bridge back in 1812 and American troops burned the south end in 1814 so the whole thing got rebuilt in 1816. That’s fun, right? Sure it is!


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Street_bridges
Point #3
Map Pin1000 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 3.36   Attraction : Directions
POI 3 Tour Image
Directions

Did you find any trolls under the bridge? No? Whew! I was going to warn you about them but I forgot. Keep on heading south and enjoy the beautiful view. We will be walking along Rock Creek Trail, because I think it is so gorgeous near the water. However, many of the cherry trees will be between this trail and the road to your left. You may need to wander around. It’s totally up to you.

Point #4
Map Pin
Distance : 3.05   Attraction : Trees
POI 4 Tour Image
Red Buckeye Trees

I hate to do this to you, but the very first trees that we are really going to talk about on this tour aren’t cherry trees at all. I mean, there are some cherry trees here but what I wanted to point out are the Red Buckeye Trees. They grow up to twenty feet tall and have beautiful bright red flowers in the spring. Hummingbirds and bees love these flowers but the rest of the tree, like the seeds and leaves, are poisonous to wildlife. Back in the day, the indeginous people here used to crush the seeds and mash the branches and put that in the water. Why? Well that concoction would make the fish really sleepy and easy to catch. How about that?


  https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/52/red-buckeye/
Point #5
Map PinUnnamed Road, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 3.00   Attraction : Tree
POI 5 Tour Image
Japanese Weeping Cherry Tree

First and foremost, there are public bathrooms up on your left. Second, we are coming up on some Japanese Weeping Cherry trees. They are early bloomers and have beautiful cascading pink flowers. There are over 90 of these trees in the park and they can grow up to 40 feet tall!


  https://www.thespruce.com/weeping-cherry-trees-the-best-cascading-faves-4767407
Point #6
Map PinRock Creek Trail, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 2.82   Attraction : River
POI 6 Tour Image
Potomac River

Enter description here...


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potomac_River
Point #7
Map Pin311 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 2.94   Attraction : Trees
POI 7 Tour Image
Kwanzan Cherry Trees

Next, we are coming up to another bathroom, just in case. But we are also coming up on some Kwanzan Cherry trees. See if you can find their heavy bunches of clear pink double blossoms. Kwanzan Cherry trees are named after a mountain in Japan, and there are 481 of them in the park. Also they are late bloomers and have dark red bark.


  https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2009/kwanzan-flowering-cherry/
Point #8
Map Pin
Distance : 3.00   Attraction : Tree
POI 8 Tour Image
Candy Cane Tree

Another restroom? Absolutely! And a big playground with a cool park for the kids, plus picnic benches and all sorts of things. That’s up on your left. And between here and the main road is a tree called the Candy Cane Tree. It is a Kwanzan Cherry tree that has a trunk that looks like a candy cane. There’s a marker near it so see if you can find it! If you do, take a selfie and tag UCPlaces on social media!

We are going to continue walking all the way down to the southern tip of Hains Point, because we aren’t quitters.


  https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2009/kwanzan-flowering-cherry/
Point #9
Map Pin
Distance : 3.21   Attraction : Directions
POI 9 Tour Image
Directions

Almost to the very tip of the point!

Point #10
Map Pin
Distance : 3.22   Attraction : Rivers
POI 10 Tour Image
Potomac River/Washington Channel/Anacostia River

Pause here. This is where the Washington Channel and the Anacostia River meet up with the Potomac River. Ok, keep going.


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacostia_River
Point #11
Map Pin
Distance : 3.20   Attraction : Trees
POI 11 Tour Image
Bald Cypress Trees

Alright, you’ve got your Anacostia River way off to your right and you are going to be walking next to the Washington Channel now as we head north. In this area of the park there are Bald Cypress trees, also known as Swamp Cypress. They can live over 1,000 years and grow over 100 feet tall!


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxodium_distichum
Point #12
Map Pin927 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 3.00   Attraction : Rugby Club
POI 12 Tour Image
Washington Irish Rugby Football Club

So here is where you might find a bunch of muscled up people tackling each other while chasing a ball. The sport is rugby, and the Washington Irish Rugby Football Club practices and plays here from time to time. They’ve been around since 1980 and welcome both experienced and beginners to practice with them and play in their games.


  https://www.washingtonirishrfc.org/
Point #13
Map Pin
Distance : 0.00   Attraction : Trees
POI 13 Tour Image
Takesimensis Cherry Trees

So this area up here is very prone to flooding, and flooding is hard for cherry trees to handle. The ground is just too wet. However there is one kind of cherry tree, the Takesimensis, that is a little more tolerant to moisture than the others so that is what you will find here. There are also River Birch and Cypress trees.


  https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-cherry-blossoms/#Takesimensis_Cherry
Point #14
Map Pin
Distance : 0.00   Attraction : Army Post
POI 14 Tour Image
Fort Lesley J. McNair

So I told you already that the body of water to your right is the Washington Channel. On the other side of that body of water is Fort Lesley J. McNair. It was called Washington Barracks back in the day, because George Washington is the one who established it to help defend the capital. Funny enough though, the British didn’t have much trouble capturing the fort during the War of 1912. The United States did get it back though, obviously.

Here are some more cool facts about Fort McNair:
United States President Abraham Lincoln test fired the very first machine gun there.
Four co-conspirators in President Lincoln’s murder were held here, tried in court, and then hanged.
Because the area there was so swampy, Major Walter Reed was able to figure out that mosquitoes transmitted malaria.

Pretty interesting, right? Currently the fort is used to house members of the military. Also the National War College is there. I didn’t know there was a war college, but I guess there is.


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Lesley_J._McNair
Point #15
Map Pin
Distance : 3.02   Attraction : Trees
POI 15 Tour Image
Eastern Cottonwood Trees

So most of the trees on our walk have been planted by people. But the trees here came with the place. These are Eastern Cottonwood Trees and they are very flood tolerant so they have no trouble growing near the river. Hey did you know that the wood from a Cottonwood Tree is really flexible? Yeah, it is used to make snowboard cores. There’s some useful trivia for ya.


  https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/eastern-cottonwood
Point #16
Map Pin696 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 3.20   Attraction : Directions
POI 16 Tour Image
Directions

Keep on walking and enjoying the views!

Point #17
Map Pin1007 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.23   Attraction : Golf course
POI 17 Tour Image
East Potomac Golf Course

That’s the East Potomac Golf Course off to your left. And if big golf isn’t your thing, there’s a mini golf course too. Fun for everyone! There are also restrooms over there.


  https://www.golfdc.com/east-potomac-gc
Point #18
Map PinHains Point/Buckeye & Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 0.18   Attraction : Trees
POI 18 Tour Image
The Oldest Trees

So the United States Department of Agriculture has determined that the cherry trees that you just passed are the oldest in the park. They are in the golf course. I guess a golf course is a good place to age.

How about we walk under a couple of bridges? Great! If we keep walking along the trail we will go under the Francis Case Memorial Bridge and then the Dwight D. Eisenhower Freeway.

Francis Case was a United States Senator from 1951 until 1962. He was committed to expanding the highways and waterways throughout America.

Dwight David Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States. Here’s a fun fact for you about him. He was the third of seven sons. He was named David Dwight when he was born but later his names were reversed to Dwight David since his dad’s name was David and that was confusing.

Point #19
Map Pin16 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.01   Attraction : Directions
POI 19 Tour Image
Directions

Keep following the trail to the left.

Point #20
Map Pin16 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.06   Attraction : Directions
POI 20 Tour Image
Directions

Keep going! I have more trees to show you, we are gonna walk under a bridge, and visit a memorial before we finish up this tour.

Point #21
Map Pin900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 0.05   Attraction : Tree
POI 21 Tour Image
Okame Cherry Tree

Ok, you are gonna have to look around a bit here, but the special tree I want to show you should be marked. It is the only Okame Cherry Tree in the entire park. It is named after the Shinto Goddess of mirth and good fortune, so if you can find it, give it a big hug. This is one of the earliest bloomers of all the cherry trees and has pink petals, red rose buds and reddish flower stalks. Keep looking! Then stay on the path and we will walk under 14th street and then follow the path to the right.


  https://www.epicgardening.com/okame-cherry-tree/
Point #22
Map Pin960 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.02   Attraction : Directions
POI 22 Tour Image
Directions

Follow the path to the right. We are looking for a crosswalk now.

Point #23
Map PinOhio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Distance : 1.44   Attraction : Directions
POI 23 Tour Image
Directions

Here’s the crosswalk. Follow it across the street, then turn left when you get to the sidewalk.

Point #24
Map Pin1 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.01   Attraction : Directions
POI 24 Tour Image
Directions

I want to go back down to the water because it is so pretty there so please follow the path to the right.

Point #25
Map Pin2 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.03   Attraction : Tidal basin
POI 25 Tour Image
Tidal Basin

Ah, back to the waterfront. Do you know which body of water this is? It’s the Tidal Basin! It’s a man-made reservoir that releases 250 million gallons of water collected at high tide, twice a day.


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_Basin
Point #26
Map Pin2 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.02   Attraction : Beach
POI 26 Tour Image
Bathing Beach

So here’s a little bit of trivia for ya. This area here used to be a “whites only” beach complete with a diving platform and a cabana. The beach closed in 1925.


  https://www.washingtonian.com/2018/08/26/once-upon-a-time-the-tidal-basin-was-a-swimming-beach/
Point #27
Map Pin16 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.23   Attraction : Memorial
POI 27 Tour Image
Thomas Jefferson Memorial

That’s the Thomas Jefferson Memorial that we are coming up on. By the way, did you know that the area where the memorial sits was actually made from dredging the Potomac River and piling up the sludge to form a mound? Sounds kinda gross.

The memorial sure is beautiful though, isn’t it?. The cornerstone of this memorial was actually laid by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If you want to learn more about that President and see some more cherry blossoms, our UCPlaces Cherry Blossom Tidal Basin Loop is also fantastic.

Inside the structure is a 19 foot, 10,000 pound bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson. There are also excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. Run inside and check it out if you want. Then maybe take a seat on the steps and take in all the breathtaking views of the Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms. Don’t forget to take pictures! Then meet me back on the trail as it continues along the Tidal Basin. Follow your navigation if you forget my instructions.


  https://www.nps.gov/thje/index.htm
Point #28
Map Pin16 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.06   Attraction : Directions
POI 28 Tour Image
Directions

I sure hope you took lots of pictures! Let’s follow the trail to the left now. Keep enjoying the views!

Point #29
Map PinEast Basin Drive SW at Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.03   Attraction : Directions
POI 29 Tour Image

I think I want to show you one more memorial before this tour is over. Sound good? Good. Follow the trail slightly to your left


  http://Directions
Point #30
Map Pin24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.03   Attraction : Bridge
POI 30 Tour Image
Inlet Bridge

Wait! Remember when I told you that the Tidal Basin is a man-made reservoir that releases 250 million gallons of water collected at high tide, twice a day? How do you think that water gets in and out of the Tidal Basin? Well, we are coming up on the Inlet Bridge. You might not be able to see it from here but I wanted to tell you about it. This bridge has gargoyles and balustrades but they just look cool. It’s the gates underneath that open and close depending on the pressure of the tide that take in the water when needed. The US Corps of Engineers figured out that was needed way back in 1881 when a huge flood covered most of the National Mall. I’m glad they got that figured out, aren’t you?


  https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMBAV2_Tidal_Basin_Inlet_Bridge_1908_Washington_DC
Point #31
Map Pin24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.01   Attraction : Directions
POI 31 Tour Image
Directions

We need to cross the street, but just so you know, if you were to follow the path to the right it would take you to the inlet bridge that I just told you about. For now though, please carefully cross over East Basin Drive and I’ll meet you on the other side.

Point #32
Map Pin24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.03   Attraction : Directions
POI 32 Tour Image
Directions

Remember I told you I’d take you to see one more memorial before we are done? Well the George Mason Memorial is in the middle of that circle ahead of you, so that’s where we are going. I’ll meet you there.

Point #33
Map Pin24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.01   Attraction : Memorial/Tree
POI 33 Tour Image
George Mason Memorial/Saucer Magnolia

Before we talk about Mr. George Mason and his memorial, let’s talk about magnolias. Specifically, Saucer magnolias. Here you can find this specific magnolia tree that is a hybrid created by a retired cavalry officer in Napoleon's army. Fun fact for you - magnolia trees date back around 100 million years and, 100 million years ago there weren’t any bees. When there are no bees, the plants have to rely on beetles for pollination. That is likely why magnolias have such tough flowers that can handle the weight of a heavy beetle.

Ok, the George Mason Memorial. George Mason penned the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and that document was the inspiration for the United States Bill of Rights. This memorial was actually the first in the Tidal Basin area dedicated to someone who was not a United States President. Why don’t you go take a selfie on the bench with the life-sized George Mason statue. Post it on social media and hashtag UCPlaces! Then follow your navigation back to the trail that we came from. Take the path on the left.


  https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/george-mason-memorial.htm
Point #34
Map Pin24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.02   Attraction : Directions
POI 34 Tour Image
Directions

Please turn left. We are almost to the end of our tour. But don’t worry. I did NOT forget that I said I’d show you the Cuban Friendship Urn. Keep walking!

Point #35
Map Pin24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA
Distance : 0.05   Attraction : Bridges
POI 35 Tour Image
14th Street Bridges

Remember we began this tour by walking under two bridges that are part of the 14th Street Bridges? Well pretty soon we are going to walk under the other bridges that complete the set. The first is the George Mason Memorial Bridge. It became well known in 1989 as the scene of the DC Prostitution Expulsion. You may wanna look that up later.

The second bridge is the Rochambeau Bridge. It used to be for busses only but now it is open to everybody.


  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Street_bridges
Point #36
Map Pin
Distance : 0.00   Attraction : Cuban Friendship Urn
POI 36 Tour Image
Cuban Friendship Urn

Guess what? We are at the end of our tour, but I promised to tell you about the Cuban Friendship Urn that you probably walked past at the beginning of the tour. It’s just past this set of bridges. The Cuban Friendship Urn will be on your left after you come out from under the bridges. Ok, let’s talk about it!

The Cuban Friendship Urn is also known as the USS Maine memorial and honors the American deaths that occurred during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

It was originally located in Cuba but after a hurricane knocked it over in 1926, it was sent to United States President Calvin Coolidge.

It was placed outside of the Cuban Embassy for a few years and then was removed. Later it ended up in the West Potomac Park Rose Garden. Then it went to the 14th Street Bridge and then back into storage. In 1966 the urn was found lying on its side and damaged in Rock Creek Park. After $11,000 worth of repairs it now sits here nestled between the Tidal Basin and a parking lot.

And just like that, this tour is done. You are probably tired after 4 miles of cherry blossoms. Way to hang in there for the whole thing! It was my pleasure to spend so much time with you today. By the way, UCPlaces doesn’t just do Cherry Blossom tours. We have quite a few tours here in the Washington, DC area. Statues, scandals, bridges, embassies, famous neighborhoods, you name it. Check out what else we have for you! I can’t wait to hang out with you again but until then, so long and happy touring!


  https://architectofthecapital.org/posts/2016/7/22/cuban-friendship-urn