Our second annual Lion Ride is back on Sat., Sept. 28. The Lion Ride is a signature event of our east of the river outreach program.The ride will start and end in Anacostia Park along Anacostia Drive and the Riverwalk Trail path (an exact start location is still to be determined, but if you sign up, we’ll email you to let you know where it is). It’s a slow, parade-paced jaunt along the trail that will wind its way through Anacostia, past the Frederick Douglass house. The ride will end in Anacostia Park. It’s about six miles and will conclude at 3:30 p.m. Youth are welcome with adult supervision! Free bike rentals will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. One of the goals of our targeted outreach is to get more east of the river residents on bikes, so if you know someone who might want to ride but doesn’t have a bike, encourage them to join us! The Lion Ride honors civil rights advocate Frederick Douglass—known as the “lion of Anacostia”—for his contributions to the community. In addition to helping found Howard University and serving as marshal of the District, Douglass spent the last 18 years of his life living in Anacostia. Would you like to volunteer for the Lion Ride? We need a few friendly faces to help us make it happen. If you can volunteer to help set up and check out bicycles, please sign up here to volunteer. We’ll also need a few ride marshals to help lead the ride and make sure every stays safe. To marshal, please sign up here. After the Lion Ride, all participants are encouraged to visit the Art of Bicycling, WABA’s project at the FIGMENT DC participatory arts festival.
Following the success of our Met Branch Trail Day earlier this month, the Trail Rangers are gearing up for another cleanup effort –this time on the Suitland Parkway Trail– and we need your help. Click here to sign up.
For those unacquainted with it, the Suitland Parkway Trail is a nearly 2-mile mixed-use trail running alongside Suitland Parkway, from Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to Southern Avenue at the D.C. border. Though the trail isn’t new to Southeast D.C., it remains relatively unknown to many locals despite its close proximity to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, connections to downtown, and essential green space. And while the trail is a little too green in places thanks to inconsistent maintenance, it remains an important piece of D.C.’s trail network. Now, with planners discussing big changes to the South Capitol Bridge and nearby arterials, the Suitland Parkway Trail stands to gain even smoother connections to the growing bicycle infrastructure east of the river. Further into the future, an extension into Prince George’s County to the Suitland Metro station would provide a much needed bicycle route for commuters and a safe, clean recreational area for the neighborhoods that surround the trail. See a map of the trail here.
For the past few months, Trail Rangers have been bagging trash and clearing branches, paving the way for more trail users. While the improvements are a stark contrast to regulars, a first-time visitor might come away underwhelmed by trail conditions. Back in May, a detailed photo tour from Greater Greater Washington brought the Suitland trail into the spotlight. Now, we’d like to make an introduction of our own, increase awareness of the trail, and create a sustained interest in maintaining the trail. For this, we need your help.
Join WABA’s Trail Rangers on Sat., Sept.14 for a personal introduction to the Suitland Parkway Trail, its potential, and the challenges it faces. Help us put boots on the ground to clean up trash, fight back vegetation, and improve the trail corridor. We’ll provide the tools, gloves, direction, and many new friends. For your hard work, you’ll enjoy a burrito lunch on us, some trail background, and a roadmap for future developments. It’ll be a challenging yet undeniably satisfying day!
Interested in getting involved? Click here to learn more and sign up, and be sure to indicate your lunch preferences.
See you on the trail on Sept. 14!
This entry is part of a weekly series following WABA’s Trail Rangers. The D.C. Trail Ranger Program is giving some needed attention to D.C.’s off-street paved trails and the people who use them with daily patrols, maintenance, and outreach. Each week, you’ll find updates on goings on and improvements on the Met Branch, Anacostia Riverwalk, Marvin Gaye and Suitland Parkway trails.
Between the delightful weather and some much-needed rain, it has been another busy week for the Trial Rangers. The cooler mornings have brought out joggers and bikers eager to put in a few miles on the Met Branch and Anacostia Riverwalk trails. In addition to the regular bike commuters, plenty of new faces joined the morning rush downtown from points north and southeast. We are glad to see so many enjoying skipping the road traffic on the MBT or enjoying the morning sun along the river on the Anacostia Riverwalk.
The rain, while welcome, brought new obstacles, and we’ve been hard at work tackling them. In addition to our time scouring the trails—we’ve covered more than 200 miles since our last update—we helped five folks overcome bike troubles to get back on the trail and helped another four figure out where they were going. We spent a combined 12 hours on clearing out vegetation, sweeping up glass, and removing trash (about 90 gallons’ worth). Now, after a concentrated effort, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is nearly unobstructed by low hanging limbs, slippery trail surfaces like gravel and debris, and encroaching plants that narrow the trail and break up pavement. Trail users can look forward to holding their heads high and simply taking in the sights.
Those who ride the trail often have already seen our handiwork. For the rest, here’s a glimpse…
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail near RFK Stadium
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail under the Sousa Bridge (Pennsylvania Avenue)
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail west of East Capitol Street BridgeIf you haven’t seen us around, we assure you, we’ve been busy. To see where we’ve been spending out time, you can follow us on Strava and find more progress photos on Flickr.
In January, we reported that construction had stalled on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail bridge over the CSX tracks on the east side of the river. It appears construction activity has restarted at the bridge site with DDOT posting photos on their Facebook page of a large crane posting the bridge’s main span.
We took a field trip to the site and snapped the photo above to see the progress ourselves. The bridge’s main span is now in place. Final work will include the bridge decking and finishing the approach ramps. Take a minute and read the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative’s update on their project website explaining the progress, which says that a spring opening of the bridge is expected.
We want to thank DDOT for making the completion of this bridge a priority.