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Trails Program

Trails Program - Metropolitan Branch Trail

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is committed to providing safe and convenient bicycle and pedestrian access throughout the city through the creation of a network of interconnected trails. 

For more information, contact DDOT's Trails Project Coordinator, Michael Alvino.

Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program provides grants to nonprofits and funds to the District to develop and maintain trails and trail-related facilities. Nonprofits and community members are welcome to submit requests for trail funding or projects to the Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee. The advisory committee meets every other month to review applications, make recommendations and to review the status of ongoing projects. To have your trail project reviewed by the committee, please read and fill out the application information below.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

A key component of the revitalization of the Anacostia waterfront is the Riverwalk Trail. The Anacostia Riverwalk shared-use path is located along the west and east sides of the Anacostia River. The 20-mile multiuse trail stretches from Prince George’s County, Md. to the Tidal Basin and the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The trail will provide a safe and convenient means for users to access the Anacostia Waterfront and enjoy Anacostia Park. Access points are being linked to neighborhoods and points of interest along the length of the trail.

Regionally, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail will connect to the Fort Circle Trails, the Bladensburg Trail, the Mount Vernon Trail and C & O Trail. Nationally, the Riverwalk Trail will open up access to the East Coast Greenway, a network of bicycle trails linking Maine to Florida. DC’s Metrorail system will interface with the Riverwalk Trail to create a full range of transportation alternatives in the region.

The trail is being developed in a sustainable manner and is implementing LID technology in the planning and design of the trail facility.

Trail segments have been completed around RFK Stadium on the west bank and the River Terrace Trail on the east bank of the river. Construction began fall of 2009 on bridges over the railroad tracks east of the river in Anacostia Park and west of the river, just north of the Sousa Bridge. Construction was completed on the east side of the river near Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens  in October 2016.

Marvin Gaye Park Trail

The trail in Watts Branch Park (now Marvin Gaye Park) was first constructed 1978, based on a plan developed by community residents. At 1.6 miles, it is the longest city-managed trail in the District.

The Watts Branch corridor has always been important to the District's transportation network. One of the early electric streetcar lines ran along Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, and the Chesapeake Beach rail line originated at the eastern end of the park. Over the years, the trail has fallen into disrepair. In 1997, the non-profit group Washington Parks and People began working with nearby neighborhoods to revitalize the park and trail, holding volunteer cleanups and social events.

In 2001, DDOT identified the Watts Branch Trail for improvements under the National Recreational Trails program of the Federal Highway Administration. Design of the trail improvements began 2003 and DDOT completed the trail improvements, including trail reconstruction and widening, new bridge and lighting, and landscaping in 2006.

Metropolitan Branch Trail

When complete, the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) is an 8-mile multiuse trail that will run from Union Station in the District of Columbia to Silver Spring in Maryland. Following the Metropolitan Branch Line of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad, the trail passes through numerous vibrant and historic neighborhoods as well as connection to the National Mall. The MBT  is an important transportation route providing connections to homes, work, and play as well as access to seven Metro stations. Current plans include connections the area's trail network such as the Capital Crescent Trail, Anacostia Trails Systems, and integration into the East Coast Greenway. 

For more information about the MBT, please visit metbranchtrail.com.

Oxon Run Trail

The Oxon Run trail system lies adjacent to Oxon Run, a tributary of the Potomac River, and within the park of the same name. Over the years, the trails and pedestrian bridges had fallen into disrepair with some sections missing entirely. In 2009, DDOT began work on a concept plan to rehabilitate and reconnect the trails as well as to install lighting, landscaping, benches, signage as well as a progressive water-quality improvement program, which calls for the installation of bio-retention ponds and bio-swales.

South Capitol Street Trail

This report provides a framework for the South Capitol Street Trail as was recommended in the DC Bicycle Master Plan. The proposed trail will be built along South Capitol Street (and Overlook Avenue) east of the Anacostia River. It will connect into the Oxon Run/Oxon Cove Trails and create links to downtown DC as well as National Harbor and Alexandria. This trail will be developed as part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and in conjunction with adjacent projects.