Though the days are finally lengthening, the temperature seems to keep on dropping. And with weather like this week’s, it’s easy to find excuses to keep your bike indoors. But here’s a reason to keep riding through the winter: WABA’s Trail Ranger program is back for 2014! With so much momentum built over the summer, we are thrilled to once again support and encourage the growing community of trail users in the District!
This past summer, we began a four-month pilot of the program. Through daily patrols, rangers logged over 2,000 miles on and between D.C. trails, making improvements to trail corridors, addressing (and helping to resolve) safety concerns, and helping riders with directions and unexpected mechanical trouble along the way. We met some incredible folks and got to know them as we crossed paths almost daily. And with the help of over 60 volunteers, we tackled large cleanup projects on the Met Branch and Suitland Parkway trails, carting away more than 100 massive bags of garbage, glass, overgrown vegetation, and debris. By all accounts, the pilot was a success.
In 2014, we want to do even more. In addition to continuing the projects of last summer, we’re turning our focus to more active encouragement of trail use and giving neighbors and trail regulars a chance to get to know each other. We’re excited to announce two initiatives starting this month on the ever-popular Met Branch Trail.
Starting next Tuesday, Jan. 14, we’ll be taking a weekly, evening ride up the Met Branch Trail and welcome anyone who wants to tag along. Part social commute, part community patrol, these Tuesday Trail Rides will be a great opportunity for someone looking for company through the dark months or encouragement on that new year’s resolution. Join us for an hour, a conversation, or as far as your commute takes you. Tuesday Trail Rides will begin Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. near Union Station (F and 2nd streets NE).
And since we know that people who ride bikes also tend to love coffee, we’ll be on the Met Branch Trail the second Friday of every month offering trail users a free cup. We encourage you to stop by, warm up your hands, and introduce yourselves. You can find us at the park at S Street from 7:30-8:30 a.m. starting this Friday, Jan. 10.
These two opportunities are just the start. When spring comes knocking, we’ll have more trail events and many ways to get involved. To sign up to receive email updates on future Trail Ranger initiatives and events, click here.