Government Island was a Colonial Era Quarry. The Aquia sandstone what was used to build the White House and the U.S. Capitol was quarried from this site and shipped by water to the young nation's capital - Washington, DC. You can still clearly see the marks where the stone was chiseled away. This historic property delivers something for nature and history lovers, alike. The quarry is located along Aquia Creek and was bought by the U.S. Government because of the beauty of this fine-grain, easy to carve stone. Today the entire island is filled with natural beauty and history that goes back to the Paleo-Indian Period is interpretive with signs along the trail.
This site is on the National Register of Historic Places and is also listed among the Virginia Landmarks.
This is a great trail (about 3 miles - down a heavily tree-lined asphalt page to a boardwalk overlook). These first two parts of the trail are handicapped accessible and total about 1 1/2 miles - from start to finish. After the boardwalk the access to the island/quarry is a natural/earthen path that is only accessible by walking. The boardwalk is great for bird watching and nature lovers. Signage and interpretation is offered along the boardwalk and around the island.
Furry, four-legged friends are some of our favorite visitors. A video was recently made by high-school students about the history of Government Island.