Points Of Interest

Point #1
Let's Begin

971 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Start

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
14th Street Bridges

971 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Bridges
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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!

Point #3
Directions

1000 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
Red Buckeye Trees

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Trees
https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/52/red-buckeye/

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?

Point #5
Japanese Weeping Cherry Tree

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Tree
https://www.thespruce.com/weeping-cherry-trees-the-best-cascading-faves-4767407

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!

Point #6
Potomac River

Rock Creek Trail, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : River
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potomac_River

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Point #7
Kwanzan Cherry Trees

311 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Trees
https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2009/kwanzan-flowering-cherry/

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.

Point #8
Candy Cane Tree

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Tree
https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2009/kwanzan-flowering-cherry/

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.

Point #9
Directions

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Almost to the very tip of the point!

Point #10
Potomac River/Washington Channel/Anacostia River

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Rivers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacostia_River

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

Point #11
Bald Cypress Trees

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Trees
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxodium_distichum

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!

Point #12
Washington Irish Rugby Football Club

927 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Rugby Club
https://www.washingtonirishrfc.org/

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.

Point #13
Takesimensis Cherry Trees

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Trees
https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-cherry-blossoms/#Takesimensis_Cherry

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.

Point #14
Fort Lesley J. McNair

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Army Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

Point #15
Eastern Cottonwood Trees

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Trees
https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/eastern-cottonwood

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.

Point #16
Directions

696 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Keep on walking and enjoying the views!

Point #17
East Potomac Golf Course

1007 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Golf course
https://www.golfdc.com/east-potomac-gc

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.

Point #18
The Oldest Trees

Hains Point/Buckeye & Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
Directions

900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Keep following the trail to the left.

Point #20
Directions

900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
Okame Cherry Tree

982 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Tree
https://www.epicgardening.com/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.

Point #22
Directions

3 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

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

Point #23
Directions

3 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

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

Point #24
Directions

3 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
Tidal Basin

3 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Tidal basin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

Point #26
Bathing Beach

3 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Beach
https://www.washingtonian.com/2018/08/26/once-upon-a-time-the-tidal-basin-was-a-swimming-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.

Point #27
Thomas Jefferson Memorial

16 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://www.nps.gov/thje/index.htm

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.

Point #28
Directions

16 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

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

Point #29

East Basin Drive SW at Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions
Directions

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

Point #30
Inlet Bridge

24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Bridge
https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMBAV2_Tidal_Basin_Inlet_Bridge_1908_Washington_DC

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?

Point #31
Directions

24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
Directions

24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
George Mason Memorial/Saucer Magnolia

24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial/Tree
https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/george-mason-memorial.htm

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.

Point #34
Directions

24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : 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
14th Street Bridges

24 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Bridges
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

Point #36
Cuban Friendship Urn

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Cuban Friendship Urn
https://architectofthecapital.org/posts/2016/7/22/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!