Five 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 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 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 a 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.