Skip to content

Exploring: THE NEW Jones Point Park

2012 July 22
by Becky

potomac river, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

At the end of our street, just five blocks or so, is the Woodrow Wilson bridge. It’s quite an impressive structure, made of countless enormous concrete supports, and provides a southern link between Virginia and Maryland.

In the year we’ve lived in Old Town, we’ve passed under the massive bridge many times as it covers a section of the Mount Vernon Trail, something we use often for walking and running. All this time, the underside of the bridge has been a mess. Completely overgrown and covered with piles of concrete, dirt, and rock. A construction sign said something about “Jones Point Park”, but we weren’t sure what that meant…it was not park-like in the least.

Two weeks ago we noticed something different.

potomac river, bike path, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

Turns out, Jones Point Park IS a park! A National Park! And after years of renovation, is ready for visitors.

Green grass, basketball courts, playground, climbing structures, fishing piers, parking lots, bike paths, and educational signage span across what was once a wasteland. Gravel paths connect the Old Town neighborhood and it’s community gardens to the beautiful park grounds. Oh, and did I mention the historical landmarks? Like the Jones Point Light house dating back to 1855 that served as a warning light for naval ships approaching the Washington Navy Yard?

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, jones point light, jones point light house, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

The historical significance of this area is amazing.

According to www.wilsonbridge.com, “Human use of Jones Point goes back to 7,900 B.C. and newly found archaeological evidence of Native Americans living in the area has dated occupancy much earlier than expected before theses studies”.We were also fascinated to learn about how, during WWI, Jones Point Park was transformed into a Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard to support the country’s desperate need for ships. The facility was sold in 1928 (after the war ended) and torn down soon after. An old wooden rudder is displayed as evidence of the shipyard.

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

The history is fascinating and all, but Ethan’s favorite part is the super-sweet playground equipment and other kid-friendly aspects of the park.

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

The park features a main playground surrounded by a fence and beautiful landscaping. It’s perfect for kids Ethan’s age and up, and is set on that rubbery-squishy flooring that it so fun to walk on (and doesn’t get stuck in your shoes like mulch!) Another climbing structure is just across the park, again fenced and safe. It’s for older kids, but Ethan still thought it was pretty darn cool. We also love the animal tracks set in the sidewalks.

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playgroundStu showing Ethan how to hop on the rabbit tracks

potomac river, mount vernon trail, jones point park, renovated jones point park, national park, family friendly dc, family friendly nova, toddler activities old town, family activities old town, old town alexandria, old town alexandria parks, old town playground, old town alexandria playground, nova playground

Ethan and I visited Jones Point every day last week—we just can’t get enough of it! Walking along the Potomac in the morning, watching the planes fly in and out of Reagan National (Ethan yelling “A-eh” and pointing at each one) is so relaxing. We were sure to go early to avoid the heat…it’s been crazy hot and humid. The Peanut loves climbing the “Pirate Ship” to go down the tube slides all on his own. He rides the wobbly-shark-thingys (yelling “Shark!”), the dolphin teeter-totter, and the swings. Leashed dogs are allowed, which means Dewey gets to tag along too.

My tips for visiting Jones Point Park:

  • Go early. The playground equipment is not covered or shaded, so it gets pretty uncomfortable after 10am on a hot day.
  • Take some bug spray if you are prone to bug bites like me. With all the foliage and landscaping, mosquitos are bound to hang around.
  • Don’t worry about potty breaks…there are shiny new restrooms!
  • Parking is plentiful, pull right on in from Royal Street.
  • Bring your stroller so you can walk the paths.
  • Bring your dog but make sure you have a leash.
  • This is a great launching point for bike rides. Park, unload, and take off on the Mount Vernon Trail.

Consider Jones Point for your next outing! It’s historical, educational, fun, family-friendly, and FREE!

My favorite part? No sandbox.

You may also like:

Ethan Walks
A Good Day for Some Green Chicken Chili
Valentines Day (with Watercolor Valentines)
10 Responses leave one →
  1. Lara permalink
    July 23, 2012

    Adding this to the list of things to do! Thanks!

  2. Linda Johnson permalink
    July 23, 2012

    What a wonderful park! There is so much old history and new sites in your area.

    Hope the little man is doing better with his molors.

  3. Grandpa Joe permalink
    July 23, 2012

    Love the matching Keens of Pop and Peanut.
    We’ve got Jones on our list to visit.

  4. Sandy Schon permalink
    July 23, 2012

    Another great reason to live where you do!!!

  5. July 24, 2012

    looks like a great park!

  6. August 6, 2012

    this looks awesome and I haven’t heard of it before. Thanks!!! Darcy

  7. August 8, 2012

    Found you through KidFriendly — love the blog! And we’re going to check out Jones Point!

    • Becky permalink*
      August 8, 2012

      Thanks!! Hope you enjoy the park! Maybe we will see you there :)

  8. Roy permalink
    February 20, 2014

    Thanks, very informative.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 4-8 | KidFriendly DC

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

CommentLuv badge