Historic photo of a trolley running on the future hike/biker grade in Hyattsville, MD
Not everyone knows it yet, but AWS is starting to focus on recreation in a big way. We're firm believers that recreation leads to stewardship and vice versa. Of course, that all fits in with our main mission which is to clean the water, recover the shores and honor the heritage of the Anacostia River.
As you can see in the photo above, the area around the confluence of the two main tributaries of the Anacostia River (the NE and NW Branches) has a rich transportation history. Trains have been here since the early 1800s. Trolleys were introduced in the late-1800s and remained through the early-1960s. Since then, most of the alignment sat dormant. In the 1990s a long section between Greenbelt Rd and Albion Rd in College Park was converted into a hiker/biker trail. That section has become an excellent community resource and has given better access for folks looking to recreate and commute.
The intention since then has been to extend the hiker/biker trail south to the NE/NW branch confluence by following the trolley grade along Rhode Island Avenue. This will allow a direct connection with the Anacostia Tributary Trail System. It will also get folks well on their way to a connection just south with the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will extend along the river all the way to the Potomac River in DC.
Well, we're happy to say that a good size chunk of it is under construction. EYA, the developers of the new neighborhood in downtown Hyattsville are building part of the trail between Madison and Hamilton Streets.
New section of trail looking north
New section of trail looking south
It wont be easy to link all of these sections together, but we can see a point in the not too distant future when people have easier access to the river, their parks, other communities and each other on a completed Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail.
For more information, feel free to contact us, and be sure to check out these excellent resources:
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