Someone went for a ride on the still incomplete - and very much closed - Kenilworth section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (ART). They shared the following photos and some comments on them. The Kenilworth section is arguably the most important section so far. It will connect the ART to PG County's Anacostia River Trail and with it the Anacostia Tributary Trail System stretching up to Beltsville, College Park (home of Proteus bikes, in case you were wondering) and Greenbelt in PG County and to Wheaton and Silver Spring in Montgomery County.
It reportedly took about 28 minutes to get from Lincoln Park to the Bladensburg Road Bridge, and going on-road usually takes 20 minutes. But if the trail were completed, and the barricades removed and if they skipped going through Mayfair (by going left through the Kenilworth Park South/Kenilworth landfill property instead of right to Foote St) they think they could do it in 20 minutes easy. And get a much more pleasant ride. No cars, no exhaust, no traffic noise, no traffic lights/stop signs, more shade and more to see. Only in the winter - when no lights and no snow clearing (?) become an issue could they see using the old road route.
The ends of the trail are incomplete, likely by design, and on the south end construction is underway on the abutments for the bridge over the old power plant outflow Piney Run*. In the background is Benning Road and the Metro trestle.
From there it follows the river north, behind NPS's Kenilworth Maintenance Facility and the DPW facility, up a large hill and then back down to an NPS Road. That recently repaved road leads to the intersection of Foote St and Anacostia Avenue NE where a new trail head is being constructed. On the far side of the trail head is a motor vehicle access drive that isn't quite a road.
From there the trail continues on the widened sidewalk (or in the road) along Anacostia Ave to Hayes Street where the real protected bike lane has been extended a couple blocks to south to meet the Anacostia Avenue sidewalk via a ramp.
The bike lane has seen some improvements. New access points to Mayfair Mansion have been added.
And the barrier has been filled in with a mix of dirt and paved areas. Not sure why they bothered to pave parts of it though.
The bike lane loops around to Jay Street and then goes north to cross Watts Branch on an improved trail.
The trail crosses over Deane
to the corner of 40th St and Anacostia Ave NE, where another trail head is being built.
The trail then goes through Kenilworth Park back down to the River and along it. It crosses Nash Run on the newly completed bridge.
The section of the trail between Nash Run and Beaverdam Creek has been recently paved too.
Near Beaverdam Creek, the trail has a stub leading off to an unpaved road that leads to the main part of Kenilworth Gardens - for a future phase perhaps?
The trail then crosses Beaverdam Creek on the new bridge where a strange creature can be seen swimming underneath.
Then the trail goes under the Amtrak and New York Avenue bridges on a boardwalk. Under the railroad bridge, a fence box has now been built to protect trail users in the case that a train derails and falls on the trail (I'm guessing).
Just north of New York Avenue is an overlook where one can see boaters.
After crossing under the bridges on the boardwalk it arrives in Maryland where more paved trail can be found.
How did the turtle cross the unnamed stream.
On this small bridge. I think the other bridge was just a temporary bridge built for construction vehicles.
The trail then continues through the natural area built as part of the Wilson Bridge Project until it gets to the last unpaved section just before the dead end of the Anacostia River Trail.
Also, here is a bird (a heron?) spotted along the trail
* I thought Piney Run came out farther north where the DPW trash transfer station was, but I was wrong. Not sure what that culvert is.