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And how can we get Maryland to do the *tiny* bit of paving to connect to Oxon Hill Dr, to get to Indian Head Highway (and on to the Oxon Run bike trail)? A miniscule bridge over a bit of mud (not even a stream), and maybe a day's worth of an asphalt crew is all it would take.

With the new Wilson Bridge access, that whole area could see a lot more usage, if the trail infrastructure could catch up.

Thanks for the report--I'll try out the detour on my commute tomorrow. I first noticed it was closed on January 13 and tried to get a picture with my (so-called) smartphone. Between my phone locking up (I'm still learning how to work the thing) and being yelled at by a guy who seemed to be in charge of the site ("What are you doing?! Who are you working for?! We have all the right permits! ..."), I gave up and continued on my way to work.

The situation got worse day by day as the fenced off area lengthened, eating up more of the trail, and widened, pushing cyclists and hikers further into the brush next to the trail. I'm glad someone with some authority got in there and dealt with it (thank you DDOT).

I agree with Shalom that much more could be done on the MD side to take advantage of the Wilson bridge.

I took the detour this morning--it's a big improvement. Thanks DDOT!

Shalom - are you referring to what's labeled on Google Earth as "Oxon Run Dr", running along the north side of a shopping center? If so, I know what you mean - I was there a few weeks ago and was surprised that I needed to ford the small creek, just north of the bridge over the official trail.

Shalom, to get that paved you need to talk to the NPS's National Capitol Parks East management. The trail runs on Oxon Cove NP property and they would be the ones responsible for it. I've been on it too and it is just awful.

Oxon Cove Park is administered by:

National Capital Parks-East
1900 Anacostia Dr., SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
202-690-5185
Superintendent: Gayle Hazelwood
e-mail

If you do write her, it might be helpful to mention the NPS's Trails Forever program. The volunteer component of Trails Forever allows the public to take part in trail maintenance. So it may be possible for NPS to provide some money, and to organize volunteers to provide some work.

Here is little update on how the trail closure was fixed.

There are at least 3 bicycle commuters who have been riding this winter across the Wilson Bridge and through Oxon Cove Park to work at DC WASA Blue Plains and like the other bike commuters to NRL and Bolling we became increasingly annoyed with the trail closure.

Anyway after two 'discussions' with the Nardi superintendent which went nowhere I did some research.

Akridge are the developer (they advertised in the recent WABA magazine) and the District Government is managing the job for the police department.

http://www.akridge.com/properties/property_detail.asp?ID=100

I left a message for Michael Gill of Akridge and got hold of Adenegan Olusegun for the District and after a number of calls to keep me informed of progress throughout the day the plywood had been installed as a ride around by the time I rode home!

The closure should have been handled properly in the first place but the problem was fixed within a day once the people with the power had been informed and I called them all back to say thanks and I thank them again here.

I think we'll see a big increase in the use of this trail (I know at least 7 people who will ride when it gets warmer) linking National Harbor to Blue Plains, Naval Research Lab and Bolling Airforce base this summer. I'm looking forward to sharing the trail with lots more people! Then maybe with some people power the trail can be linked up to the new St Elizabeth's mega office complex further up 295.

The Oxon Cove trail although remote is wonderful ride. The wildlife that can be seen early in the morning just inside the capital beltway is always a joy to me as is the view up the Potomac to the capital from the Wilson Bridge at dawn.

Thanks to everyone who made the Wilson Bridge trail possible and to WABA for keeping us all informed and advocating for us bikers!

@Paul
Thanks very much for your work and for the report. I ride the trail often and was delighted when the detour was implemented. I will be riding again as soon as the @#$%! snow clears.

As of Sunday, it was still under a foot of snow (see http://www.jonathankrall.net/crazy_2010.html for pictures).

Jonathan, I checked out the pictures on your web page and was to say the least extremely impressed. To ride out with snow shovels with the idea of clearing a mile of trail is above and beyond the call of duty!

If you find out who we can contact at the National Park Service who controls the snow plough we can get some e-mails going. Might not work this time but maybe next time it snows.

Thanks again for your efforts. I hope to see you out on the trail soon.

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