5 Fun Facts About U.S. Presidents and the Great Outdoors

It’s Presidents Day and an election year, so we rounded up some of the best stories about U.S. Presidents enjoying the great outdoors! Here are some fun facts about the how our leaders spend their free time:


1. George W. Bush – The Marathon Man

While several presidential candidates and other high-ranking government officials have run marathons, George W. Bush is the only president to have attempted and successfully completed a marathon. He ran the 1993 Houston Marathon in 3 hours, 44 minutes, and 52 seconds. He continued running during his tenure in the Oval Office.

2. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt – The Outdoorsman

For a lack of a better word, Teddy Roosevelt was a badass. He led soldiers into battle, frequently went on long backpacking trips with environmentalists like John Muir, protected millions of acres of land with his conservation efforts, and once was shot in the in the chest during a speech and then finished the speech with the bullet still in his chest. A week after President McKinley’s assassination attempt in September 1901, Vice President Roosevelt was hiking to the summit of Mount Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, when he got word that McKinley’s condition had taken a turn for the worse. Soon after, while still in the Adirondacks, Teddy was notified of Mckinley’s passing and assumed the presidency.

3. Gerald Ford – The Forest Ranger

Ford had knack for holding a variety of jobs during his lifetime. Prior to his presidency, Ford was once a forest ranger at Yellowstone National Park. He fed animals, directed traffic, and cleaned up litter. During college, Ford spent his free time as a model to earn some extra cash. He was also the only person to serve as both the President and Vice President without being elected for either, both of his appointments were due to resignation.

4. Jimmy Carter – The Fisherman

Jimmy grew up fishing in both the swamps and Appalachian Mountains of Georgia. Fishing excursions later took him to Mississippi, Virginia, Idaho, the Gulf of Mexico, and more. As far as angling goes, he was the most-traveled presidential fisherman.

5. Barack Obama – The Survivalist

Politics aside, Obama is pretty popular around the world for his sense of humor and pop-culture appearances. He has appeared on an episode of Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns”, been roasted by comedians, and most recently appeared on an episode of the reality survival show “Running Wild With Bear Grylls”. Obama trekked around the Alaskan Wilderness with Bear Grylls, ate salmon that had been spit out by a bear, drank tea brewed from catkins, and sat around a fire cooking s’mores with nearby bears.