Jones Point Park

Jones Point Park

On this lunchtime bike ride I decided to go to Jones Point Park, which is located just south of Old Town Alexandria (MAP) in Virginia. The 65-acre park is operated by the National Park Service as land of the U.S. Department of Interior, and is located in an historic area on the banks of the Potomac River, on land which was a critical piece of the city of Alexandria’s early history as one of the largest centers for shipping, manufacturing, and transportation in the nation. A large portion of the park also is located under the massive The Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Potomac River and connects Virginia with Maryland.

The park has formal spaces for recreation which include two playgrounds, one for children under age five and one for children ages six to ten. It has two basketball courts, restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, multi-use recreational fields, as well as the historic Jones Point Lighthouse.

Jones Point Park also includes a small boat launch that offers access to the Potomac River for canoes and kayaks, and two fishing piers, which all provide excellent opportunities to cast for American catfish, rock bass, and American eels. Fishing is permitted with the appropriate license. However, the boundaries for Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia all intersect at Jones Point. So depending on where you fish, the regulations for the different entities will apply. Federal fishing regulations also apply throughout the park. For anyone wanting to fish in this area, they should be aware of the health advisories on eating fish caught in this area of the Potomac River. The advisories may be found on state and municipal fisheries websites.

Less formal areas of the park, including trails through an adjacent hardwood forest, are also available at the park by crossing the multi-use recreational fields. The 80-foot trees that make up the forest offer a haven for wildlife amid the local urban area, and are great habitat for viewing fall and spring birds that are drawn to these woodlands during migration in search of food and cover. And the trail down to the Potomac River offers spectacular views of waterbirds, wintering waterfowl and bald eagles. There is also an interpretive trail which provides information about the human and natural history behind Jones Point Park.  Signs and exhibits along the trail highlight the area’s fresh water marsh habitat, its use by American Indians, and its role in shipbuilding and navigation.

Jones Point Park is easily accessible by bike, because it is located along the Mount Vernon Trail, which actually runs through the park. So the next time you’re looking for a ride that’s a little bit longer, I highly recommend this park. It’s not only a great destination, but there’s plenty to see along the way during the ride from D.C.

JonesPointPark02     JonesPointPark04
[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s