DIRECTIONS TO THE
SYCAMORE ISLAND CLUB


LOCATION

The Sycamore Island Club is located on Sycamore Island, an island in the Potomac River, south of the American Legion Bridge (the beltway bridge connecting Virginia's Fairfax County and Maryland's Montgomery County) and north of Chain Bridge (the northernmost bridge connecting Virginia's Arlington County to Washington, DC). It is in the general vicinity of the town of Glen Echo. The island is accessible only from the Maryland side of the river by parking at either the parking lot on MacArthur Boulevard or the parking lot on the Clara Barton Parkway. From either parking lot, a footpath can be found leading down to the river and to Sycamore Island.


TO THE MacARTHUR BOULEVARD PARKING LOT

From downtown Washington, DC through Georgetown ...
Leave west out of Georgetown on M street past Key Bridge and the entrance to the Whitehurst Freeway. Take your second left onto MacArthur Boulevard and continue about 4 miles to a parking lot on your left, across the street from Walhonding Road. (If you come to the small traffic circle at the Glen Echo Shopping Center, you have gone too far.) Find the footpath leading (over a spiral pedestrian overpass) down to the river.

From downtown Washington, DC on Massachusetts Avenue ...
Follow Massachusetts Avenue out of Washington, DC until it dead-ends at Goldsboro Road. Turn left onto Goldsboro Road and follow it to a small traffic circle at MacArthur Boulevard (the Glen Echo Shopping Center should be on your right). Go 3/4 around the circle and head south on MacArthur Boulevard. Stay on MacArthur Boulevard through the stop sign for the entrance to the Clara Barton Parkway. Continue to a parking lot on your right, across the street from Walhonding Road. Find the footpath leading (over a spiral pedestrian overpass) down to the river.

From the Capital Beltway...
Take the River Road exit from the Capital Beltway (495) south towards Washington, DC (and Bethesda). Turn right at the 5th traffic light onto Goldsboro Road. Follow Goldsboro Road to a small traffic circle at MacArthur Boulevard (the Glen Echo Shopping Center should be on your right). Go 3/4 around the circle and head south on MacArthur Boulevard. Stay on MacArthur Boulevard through the stop sign for the entrance to the Clara Barton Parkway. Continue to a parking lot on your right, across the street from Walhonding Road. Find the footpath leading (over a spiral pedestrian overpass) down to the river.


Pedestrian Overpass
Pedestrian Overpass

TO THE CLARA BARTON PARKWAY PARKING LOT
Landmark: PEDESTRIAN OVERPASS


The Clara Barton Parkway is a major commuter artery in and out of Washington. As such, it is only one-way inbound on weekday mornings and only one-way outbound on weekday afternoons.

(DO NOT use the following route between 6:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekday mornings! Both lanes of the Parkway are used for inbound traffic to downtown Washington, DC. Use directions from downtown to the MacArthur Boulevard parking lot instead.)

From downtown Washington, DC...
Leave west out of Georgetown on M street past Key Bridge and the entrance to the Whitehurst Freeway. Take your first left onto Canal Road which follows directly west and north along the river (very scenic). After about 2 miles, Canal Road becomes Clara Barton Parkway just past the turn for Chain Bridge. Continue on the Clara Barton Parkway about 2 more miles, past the Little Falls Brookmont Dam (on your left), and park at the parking lot at the pedestrian overpass. Find the footpath leading down to the river.

(Note: There is a pedestrian overpass on the parkway between Chain Bridge and the Brookmont Dam. This is NOT the overpass near Sycamore Island.)


(DO NOT use the following routes between 2:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekday afternoons! Both lanes of the Parkway are used for outbound traffic from downtown Washington, DC. Use beltway directions to the MacArthur Boulevard parking lot instead.)

From the Capital Beltway...

From Virginia ... as you cross the Potomac River into Maryland take the right exit marked "Clara Barton Parkway" off the American Legion Bridge. Once on the parkway and heading towards DC, make no turns and stay in the right lane. Just after the parkway changes from a divided highway to a single lane highway look for a pedestrian overpass. Park in the parking lot adjacent to the pedestrian overpass and find the footpath leading down to the river.

From Maryland ... take the exit marked "Cabin John" (IMMEDIATELY after the River Road exit). Follow the connecting highway which merges into the Clara Barton Parkway after about 1 mile. Once on the parkway make no turns and stay in the right lane. Just after the parkway changes from a divided highway to a single lane highway look for a pedestrian overpass. Park in the parking lot adjacent to the pedestrian overpass and find the footpath leading down to the river.


THE FOOTPATH DOWN TO THE RIVER

The footpaths from both parking lots converge at a bluff looking down over the Potomac River and Sycamore Island. The path then leads down the slope to an old steel bridge over the C & O Canal, and on to the canal's towpath. Shortly up ahead on the towpath you will find steps leading down into the river and ropes going over to Sycamore Island. Yanking on one of the ropes rings a cowbell on the Island and is a signal to alert the caretaker.