Someone wrote to ask me what I know about the Wells Run Trail and if there were plans to improve it. My first response was to look up what the Well Run Trail is and try to at least figure out what state it's in. So, the answer was that I knew nothing about it.
After some research, I can't say I know much more.
I do know this, the current trail, located in University Park, isn't much of a bike trail. It's narrow. It's isolated and small.
And it's not really built for cyclists - the connection to Adelphi Road is via a set of narrow stairs for example. It does look like a great way to walk to and from the bus stop on Adelphi or otherwise around the neighborhood.
But it has potential.
Wells Run flows into the NE Branch of the Anacostia passing through Hyattsville, University Park and Riverdale Park on the way. But oddly, it looks like there is an unnamed stream bed that starts from almost the same spot and flows in the opposite direction to the NW Branch. Thus a trail built along Wells Run and the stream bed; using Wells Boulevard, the Wells Parkway and, on the east side, the stream itself, could become a nice east-west connection between the NE and NW Branch trails. Though something would have to be done about the part where it runs down the middle of East-West Highway. I would go from Riverdale Park to University Hills. That would be a very useful connection.
Wells Run and stream bed in blue
If they were to upgrade the current sections of the trail and connect it to Adelphi Road, that would form a very nice 3 miles of connector trail.
Sadly, such a trail is currently not in the 2009 PG County Bikeways and Trails Master Plan or the 2009 Hyattsville Bike and Ped Plan. In 2010, after residents became concerned that the stream might flood their homes, the three jurisdictions formed an Inter-Municipal Collaborative Committee on Wells Run which would
- Develop a short-term and long-term stream restoration plan.
- Develop passive recreational enhancements along Wells Run;
- Evaluate storm water plans that may impact Wells Run; and,
- Collect and provide environmental data in support of the above items.
I'm not sure if a MUT is passive, but that's reason for hope. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like much has happened in the last 8 years. Which is too bad, that thing could use some stream restoration.
A trail along Wells Run, coupled with a utility corridor trail from the Takoma Substation to the NW Branch Trail only blocks from where Wells connects to it, and then continuing north to Metzerott Road, would really tie that whole area together.
But in short, the Wells Run Trail looks like a pedestrian pathway system, and it will probably stay that for a while.