TheEllipse is a 52-acre park south of the White House fence and north of Constitution Avenue and the National Mall. Properly, the Ellipse is the name of the five-furlong circumference street within the park. The southern trail begins at the White House Visitor Center and proceeds onto the Ellipse grounds in a clockwise walk around the grounds.This page lists some of the features you will find in the park. For areas north of the White House, in Lafayette Park, check out the northern trail.
The southern part of President’s Park is the Ellipse, a large open area surrounded by an oval drive. Its development began in the 1850s but was cut short first by a lack of funds and then by the Civil War. The site has been used a trash dump, horse pens, and a slaughterhouse. Soldiers were housed here during the Civil War.