DC Trail Ranger

WABA’s Trail Ranger program is putting a regular set of eyes on DC area trails to support and encourage a growing community of trail users.  The program is made possible through a grant from the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Division.

What is a Trail Ranger?

Trail Rangers are a consistent and helpful presence on DC’s mixed use, paved trails, charged with assisting trail users, improving trail conditions, and working with local agencies to keep the trails clean, bright, and clear of obstacles.  We are stocked with tools and are eager to help patch a flat, provide a quick fix, dish out maps and directions, or clear up glass and debris before it causes trouble.  Program presence means a quick response to downed limbs, less ducking around branches, and more reasons to enjoy the area’s trail network.


What We’ve Done Recently

Curious what we have been up to recently? Check out our public dashboard for quick counts on what we have been doing.

What is the data?

Our event dashboard is a big picture look at our work by counting how many times and where we have been completing  common program tasks. A paper bag of broken glass at the end of a shift tells one story about the volume of broken glass on trails, but the dashboard will have documentation that it took 7 different spots on the trails to get that much glass! We categorize our work in four major buckets and keep category names short to keep our phone app tool functional. Our work includes:

  • Trail Maintenance – we track our maintenance work into four categories: broken glass, litter, vegetation and other.
  • Trail Service – this includes outreach and engagement that isn’t a scheduled event. We track the number of conversations, wayfinding [conversations], resource distribution, bike repair support, and flyering and yard sign installation.
  • Work Order – we report to three different work order systems regularly! On the dashboard, we categorize work orders into 8 categories: tree, trash, roadway striping, sign/fence (this category includes most “street furniture” including water fountains, benches, and much more), dockless mobility, pavement, dead animal and other.
  • Event – this is a quick count of specific events we have done. We categorize our work into trail cleanup, trailside tabling, off-trail tabling and trail event.

Get Involved

The team is out on trail daily but we cannot do it alone.  Be a part of making DC’s trails better for all.

Volunteer

 Join the team for a day and expand our capacity while learning more about the trails! Trail Ranger volunteer orientation required. Learn more and signup below:

see shifts

Ongoing Opportunties

2nd Friday Coffee Hour:  [On hold due to COVID-19] On the second Friday of every month, leave for work a bit early and join us for a cup of coffee and a chat with MBT regulars at the pocket park at 4th and S St NE 7:30 am – 9:30 am.

Pitch in Cleaning Up:

Throughout the spring and summer, neighbors are invited to lend a hand in keeping our trails looking good at our monthly cleanups.  ToWe’ll provide the trash grabbers, trash bags, snacks and some new friends.

Anacostia River Trail – Second Wednesday of the month
For 2022: 6/8, 7/13, 8/10, 9/14, 10/12, 11/9, 12/14
Start time: 8:30 am
Meet at Hayes St NE and Jay St NE

Marvin Gaye Trail – Second Thursday of the Month
For 2022: 6/9, 7/14, 8/11, 9/15, 10/13, 11/10, 12/15
Start time: 10:00 am
42nd and Hunt Pl NE

Oxon Run Trail – Second Friday of the month
For 2022: 6/10, 7/15, 8/12, 9/16, 10/14, 11/4*, 12/16
Start time: 12:00 pm
1100 Mississippi Ave SE

* Non-standard date because of federal holiday.

  • Group cleanups: have a trail section that your group would like to cleanup? Let us know at trailranger@waba.org.

Where to Find Us

Trail Rangers cover nearly 25 miles of trail owned and maintained by DC. They are out daily all year round during the morning and evening rush and weekends, giving trail users peace of mind and help when they need it most. All trails covered by the program are mapped here.

Anacostia River Trail:   Running nearly 13 miles, the ART loops from South Capitol St. to Benning Road along both banks of the Anacostia River, and along the east bank from Benning Road to the DC Border where the trail network keeps going in Prince George’s County. The trail offers terrific views of city and river, and easy connections between the parks, stadiums, restaurants and neighborhoods along and across the river. Explore the trail with our trail brochure and recorded webinar. More construction information at the project website.

Two black guys are running towards the camera on a trail with vibrant greenery around them. Its Marvin Gaye Trail peak casual exercise and its excellent.

Marvin Gaye Trail:   Following the Watts Branch creek, the 1.6 mile trail runs from near the Minnesota Ave. Metro Station to the city’s eastern boundary line.  As a link between numerous parks and neighborhood institutions, the Marvin Gaye Trail is both an important community resource and a commuter connection. Explore more with our trail brochure.

Metropolitan Branch Trail:   With more than 4 of the planned 8 miles of trail built, the main stem of the Met Branch Trail stretches from Union Station to Fort Totten Metro station through NE DC. It boasts easy access from NoMa, Eckington, Edgewood, and Brookland. A short section from Silver Spring is also currently built. When completed, the MBT will be continous from Union Station to Silver Spring. Explore more with our trail brochure. More information on continued construction at the project website

Northbound Cue Sheet        Southbound Cue Sheet

Oxon Run Trail:  Repaved in 2018, this 3.5 mile long trail follows Oxon Run on both stream banks and with many connecting bridges. A few highlights of the trail include the James E Bunn Amphitheater, a baseball field, and many cherry trees.

Learn trail basics and more at waba.org/tips.

We also provide weekly inspection level presence on Suitland Parkway Trail, and as-needed work on Klingle Valley Trail

Follow the Trail Rangers

Follow WABA on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates on Trail Ranger activities.  Read more about the team’s work on the WABA Blog or follow the team on Twitter.

Contact

Get in contact with the Program Director Ursula Sandstrom at trailranger@waba.org or (202) 518-0524 x75.