A bike trail that will eventually run from Maine to Florida goes right through the Route 1 corridor on its way to Washington, D.C.
Organizers of the East Coast Greenway aim to connect 3,000 miles of walking and biking routes through 15 states and 450 communities.
Since its founding in 1991, the nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance has helped designate 900 miles of protected, off-road greenway. The gaps between bike trails are connected by a path of recommended roadways.
In Maryland, the East Coast Greenway stretches from Wilmington, Delaware, through Havre de Grace to Baltimore, south to Annapolis, then west through Bowie to Greenbelt and south on two paths to Washington, D.C. (You can see an interactive map here.)
The section along the Route 1 corridor starts at the Spellman Overpass, which crosses the Baltimore Washington Parkway into Greenbelt. From there it passes on Crescent Road to Cherrywood Lane, connecting to the Anacostia Tributary Trail System at Lake Artemesia.
The trail heads south, parallel to the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River, through Riverdale Park before splitting in South Hyattsville.
One route heads south along the river on the existing trails, crossing into D.C. on the 11th Street Bridge, which will soon be upgraded with a $60 million bridge-park billed as equivalent to New York’s High Line.
The other route heads west along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia, past Magruder Park, into Mount Rainier on Arundel Road, hopscotching on city streets until it reaches the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Brookland.
More could be done locally to complete the greenway, particularly in Greenbelt and Mount Rainier, but for now it’s a solid segment of an ambitious project.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance even named the Anacostia trails one of its 15 favorite segments of the greenway, calling it a “pleasant, family-friendly ride along the river.”
“You will be amazed by the natural scenery and animals you may spot so close to D.C. along this stretch of trail,” the group wrote.