Treasures Abound And Good Times Found!

Over 70 brave explorers came out to join in WABA’s Anacostia Riverwalk Treasure Hunt this past Saturday. Sporting costumes, colorful headwear, impressive team branding, and almost giddy excitement, the 25 teams came prepared for some serious riddle sleuthing and river wandering.
Anacostia Riverwalk Treasure Hunt

Once out on the trail, teams fanned out in all directions to unravel a list of riddles and uncover the trail’s hidden bounty. Some of these “Trail Treasures” –landmarks, sweeping views, riverside hideaways, and unexpected attractions– proved quite tricky, but well worth the trip.

Anacostia Riverwalk Treasure Hunt

Since the mark of a modern privateer is the right balance of braggery, skill, and tech savvy, teams collected points by tweeting and instagramming photos of their team at each trail treasure.  With a little encouragement and so many sights and props for inspiration, teams dove headfirst into the competition with some great results.

Anacostia Riverwalk Treasure Hunt

For many riders, this adventure was a first time down on the river. We hope that the cheerful trail, wildlife for company, and so many activities, keep them coming back!  If you missed it, check out the photos on our flickr page and consider setting sail for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail for a voyage of your own!

For the big extra spark of motivation and boatloads of prizes, we owe a rousing Thank You to our Prize Sponsors: Capitol Hill Bikes, Bluejacket, Ice Cream Jubilee, and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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chipotle-logo   BluejacketHiRes

 

Five Reasons To Join the Treasure Hunt

On August 30, our Trail Ranger crew is bringing a treasure hunt to the shores of the Anacostia River. If you’re not swayed by promises of a lighthearted team competition wrapped in a bike adventure with cheeky pirate themes, here are the top five reasons to weigh anchor and pedal down to Diamond Teague Park next weekend.

5. There’s Real Treasure in DC’s Backyard!

OK, so truth be told, you won’t see any rubies or gold pieces, but you may be surprised by what your team digs up.  DC has no shortage of sweeping views, so you can expect plenty of those.  But just as exciting are the places where the trees take over and the city fades away.  Come find your new favorite hideaway.

4. The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is Amazing!

RiverWalk Ride

The eight mile loop is a pleasure to ride.  With sweeping bridges, easy connections to nearby streets and thriving wildlife, the trail is an attraction all on its own.  And it is only getting better!  Construction is underway on a 4.5 mile connection to Maryland’s Anacostia Tributary Trails, so expect a significant bump in trail users by Spring of 2016.  Quit waiting.

3. There are Boats of All Sizes

We hope not to see any naval battles, but there sure are a ton of ships to board like the Navy’s display ship Barry

Display Ship Barry
or this one

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2. Kids will have blast too!

Our younger, bike savvy explorers can expect a shorter, more directed route mapped out on a treasure map of their own.  Along the way, they’ll find some great views, shoeline riding, and a few surprises.

1. Treasure Maps, Clues, Exploration, Bikes and Prizes!

Bike rides with friends are fun.  Bike rides with friends with treasure maps and riddles are better.  Add costumes, prizes, a little bit of bushwhacking and prizes and you’ve got a real adventure!  Come join in the fun.

Weigh Anchor and Sign Up!

Calling All Treasure Hunters!

Do you have an affinity for nautical themes, bicycles, and vague maps of geographical forms? Do you like exploration, friendly competition and prizes? If so, grab a friend, a bicycle and strap on your skull and crossbones helmet for the first ever Anacostia River Treasure Hunt!

At 10: am on Saturday, August 30th, set sail for the shores of the Anacostia River at Diamond Teague Park for a spirited hunt for all the treasures our city’s other great river has to offer. in days of olde, treasure hunters crossed the seas and beat back jungles in search of precious metals and plunder. Today, we’ll compete for points, earned by following clues, discovering lesser known attractions, and clearing some jungles too! Armed with a treasure map, a sense of adventure and a Twitter handle, your team will take on the competition for points, prizes, and glory.

Hunt Details

Each team will receive a treasure map and a broad list of clues to “Trail Treasures” and challenges scattered up and down the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Since the mark of a true privateer is the right balance of braggery, skill, and wit, teams will collect points by tweeting and instagramming photos featuring their team’s  hunting talents.  With limited time, will your team seek out the large payoffs of tricky and distant treasures or aim for the easy return on simpler clues? Good treasure hunters always have a keen mind for strategy!

Teams that collect the most points or show great creativity will be showered with prizes and glory. The rest will walk away with an album full of reasons to come back for more adventure by bike, kayak, roller skate, or picnic blanket.

Registration is free and open to all. Teams including bike savvy kids are welcome too! We’ll have a shorter, kid friendly map and clue sheet so aspiring treasure hunters can join in the fun.

Treasures Worth Hunting

While the Anacostia has never been a place for precious metals, it is littered with treasures of another kind! These are the sweeping views, riverside hideaways, feats of engineering and pieces of history that make the Anacostia impressive. They are those uplifting scenes of a river alive with wildlife and abuzz with people. They are boathouses, roller rinks and aquariums right in DC’s back yard!  We hope you’ll join us!

Weigh Anchor, Register Now!

More Trail Events Coming Up

With hard work on the Met Branch and Anacostia Riverwalk Trails behind us, the Trail Ranger team is getting in gear for our lesser known trails east of the Anacostia.  With the Riverwalk Trail as a backbone of the network, the Suitland Parkway Trail and Marvin Gaye Trail serve as feeder lines from the Maryland line.  Come ride the trails with us and lend a hand keeping them in shape.

Suitland Parkway Trail Cleanup & Ride
Saturday, July 12, 10 am – 1 pm

Join us Rangers for a personal introduction and cleanup on one of DC’s least known bike trails. Through a little hard work, you’ll get a ground level perspective of where the trail goes, its challenges, and the future improvements we are advocating for. Learn more and Sign Up

Marvin Gaye Trail Cleanup & Ride
Sunday, July 27, 11 am – 2 pm

Roll up your sleeves and join the team in a community cleanup and ride on the Marvin Gaye Trail. Running the length of Marvin Gaye Park, the trail follows the Watts Branch creek for nearly 2 miles as it winds through quiet, green neighborhood streets from Minnesota Ave. to the Maryland line. Come discover how to get there, help us keep it looking fresh, and discover why you might want to come back. Learn more and Sign Up

Riverwalk Trail Gets Some Attention

ART Cleanup

Last Saturday morning, our Trail Ranger team and some eager volunteers gathered in River Terrace park on the east bank of the Anacostia River to give the trail some much needed help.. In just under two hours, our crew greatly improved the Benning Road bridge crossing, trimming back overgrown vegetation, clearing sight lines, and removing glass. As the northernmost river crossing on the Riverwalk, the Benning Road bridge is often abuzz with bike and foot traffic. Thanks to our efforts, this crossing is a bit roomier, making for a more enjoyable ride.

With the hard work done, the group enjoyed a relaxed spin around the trail, highlighting some of the trail connections, nearby attractions, and the 4.5 mile Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens trail extension, now under construction.

Every week, we’re highlighting the work of WABA’s Trail Ranger program, an effort to increase use and upkeep of multi-use trails in the District. Check back for big trail updates, achievements, and ways to get involved with our cleanups and events. Click here for more about our Trail Ranger program.

Trail Ranger Cleanup Events Are Underway

Sunday morning, a crew of eleven eager neighbors and trail lovers joined our Trail Ranger team for our first trail cleanup of the summer. In just under three hours, we tackled some big projects to ensure that the Met Branch Trail we have today always offers a smooth ride, clean sight lines, and lasting artistic flair. Read on for a photo recap and a look at what’s next.

For our first trail cleanup event, we focussed our efforts on the busy southern section of the Met Branch Trail from New York Ave. to Franklin St. Thanks to regular attention from our Trail Rangers and city maintenance crews, the trail itself is in excellent condition, so we trained our eyes on  uncovering and highlighting some of the incredible murals that make this 1.5 mile section such a pleasure to travel on.

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Mother nature is not this mural’s best friend, but now it is in good shape for the summer.

Some art is better left to the professionals.

Some art is better left to the professionals.

Keeping aggressive growth out of your face so you can focus on enjoying the ride

Check out more photos on flickr.

Next Up: Anacostia Riverwalk Cleanup June 28

Keeping our trails in good shape is never ending work.  Fortunately, each trail in DC brings something to the table, and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is no exception.  With striking views of the river, soaring bridges, and blissful turns through parks and dense canopies, the riverwalk is a terrific place to ride, and a pleasant place to meet some new friends while you work

Join our Trail Ranger team on Saturday, june 28 for a relaxed cleanup.  For more details and to sign up, click here.

New Frederick Douglass Bridge Won’t Connect to Suitland Parkway Trail

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The District Department of Transportation is proposing a new Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge that will not connect to the Suitland Parkway Trail through Anacostia. The Suitland Parkway Trail’s trailhead is only one mile from the proposed bridge.

DDOT will invest $600 million in a new South Capitol Street / Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge across the Anacostia River. This is the largest capital investment project  in the DDOT’s history and represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the design right for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bridge engineers have been listening to the concerns of bicycling community over the last two years, and DDOT has made improvements to the bridge design for bicyclists and pedestrians. The new span will have two 18-foot-wide multi-use trails, one of each side of the roadway. The sidepath space will be divided into an 8-foot sidewalk and a 10-foot-wide bicycle path. There will be direct connections from the bridge, around the traffic circles, to the street grid and existing or planned trail networks.

But there is a glaring exception: There is no direct connection to the Suitland Parkway Trail from the bridge. The Suitland Parkway Trail is a multi-use path that extends two miles east from Anacostia to the District’s border with Maryland. Prince George’s County is beginning plans to extend the trail another 3.5 miles east to the Branch Ave Metro Station. It is a preferred route for bicyclists because the trail is steady uphill grade ; many nearby residential streets have very quick and steep climbs.

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Bicyclists wishing to travel from the bridge to the trail will follow one of two routes. The first is on the south side of the trail, follows the traffic circle around counterclockwise, underneath I-295, and ends at the intersection of Firth Sterling and the Suitland Parkway. This route crosses roads eight times including two high speed interstate ramps. The second route begins on the north side of the bridge, follows the traffic circle around clockwise and ends on Howard Road. Engineers would then paint bike lanes on Howard Road. Neither route ends anywhere near the Suitland Parkway Trail.

Residents who live just up the Anacostia River experience a similar roadway design every day. The unpleasant walk or bike ride from the Pennsylvania Ave Bridge underneath the freeway to Minnesota Avenue SE is nearly the same layout. Pedestrians and bicyclists must navigate a sea of crosswalks, high speed interstate highway ramps and numerous traffic lights. It’s unsafe, unpleasant and intimidating. DDOT should not repeat the same mistake.

DDOT engineers need to propose a direct connection from the new bridge to the trail. This connection should aim to keep pedestrians and bicyclists separated from car traffic, minimize crosswalks and prioritize grade separated trail crossings. Trail user should not have to cross high speed freeway ramps. The design should prioritize the experience of bicyclists and pedestrians. Most importantly, the trail connection should keep kids, adults, and seniors safe and be a direct, safe, and convenient connection of communities.

Sign the petition asking DDOT to design and build a safe trail connection from the South Capitol Street Bridge to the Suitland Parkway Trail

Anacostia Riverwalk Bridge Closer to Completion

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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.