Just south of the Arboretum, you'll find a less-traveled family & dog-friendly park. With great parking, picnic spots, and bathrooms, you can stay all day.
This area is the product of dredging the Anacostia River over 100 years ago and is now home to rare ecosystems (tidal freshwater wetlands & wildflower meadows) and 100+ types of wildlife.
Visit on a sunny day with mild temperatures or in winter. The waters can attract bugs and rain can create muddy trails. Bring bug spray and good shoes.
The walk around Heritage Island is only about a half mile but packs plenty of adventure.
Heritage Island is just a small slice of the area. You'll also find a playground, recreational sports fields, clean bathrooms, tons of shade, and doggy waste stations.
There's plenty of parking, it is walking distance from Stadium Armory (metro), or find Capital Bike Share for rent.