Nowhere to Run…or Bike

Good day for a ski

Good day for a ski

Heading out to the towpath this weekend, I didn’t expect to see it plowed. But I was surprised to see it wasn’t packed down. In some areas, like near Fletcher’s Boathouse, there is plenty of loose snow not suitable for running or biking, and not all that easy for walking, either. (Hint: Snowshoes ROCK.)

The Capital Crescent Trail there doesn’t look much better. Nearer Georgetown, so many large trees are across it that people have blazed a winding path. (See recent reports.) Sure, it’s pretty for a weekend hike, but what about training for that upcoming 10K — or more importantly, biking on it to work? Especially when the roads are a mess?

The WashCycle has plenty to say about the matter. Saturday’s The Ice Storm post talks about why the trails aren’t plowed, then requests that people contact trail managers and ask The Post‘s Dr. Gridlock to address the issue in his chat today at noon.

Paul McCray of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority says in the comments the W&OD trail staff will start clearing snow this week. The upcoming rains also may wash away a lot of it.

Did you hit the trails this weekend? If so, what did you find?

An area resident since 1997, Donna C. is a DC outsider. When she’s not running her writing and Web business, she’s running around the city, exploring the great outdoors, or trying to figure out how best to go green. See why she loves DC.

14 thoughts on “Nowhere to Run…or Bike

  1. Roosevelt Island still has plenty of snow on the trails to go with the fallen trees and large branches. The boardwalk over the marsh is not plowed and has about half a foot in places.

  2. Ya’ll, I’ve been hitting the sidewalk instead of Bethesda–>DC section of the Cap Crescent. Even the sidewalk is tricky though, with some parts covered in packed down snow, and the snow-induced narrowness making it difficult to dodge pedestrians. Wisconsin is mostly good, but Massachusetts and Nebraska near AU are spotty.

  3. I spoke with Montgomery County Parks and with National Park Service this morning, regarding clearing the Capitol Crescent Trail in both DC and Maryland.

    Mont. Co: They have no plans on clearing the CCT trail at all. I do suggest people call them at 301-495-2595 and speak with a person and let them know you’d like them to change their current policy and start clearing the snow after snowstorms. They took my name and address and will register this as maintenance issue and policy change at a future date. If more people don’t voice their opinion, then things will never change. In the past, Mont. Co Parks has put up many terrible reasons not to do anything. See

    NPS: Spoke with the head of the maintenance for that part of the park (mainly in DC), and he indicated they are in the process of purchasing a new snowblower attachment that could hook up to one of their smaller tractors. This would speed up snow removal for the trail. They have been busy assessing damage to their buildings and clearing NPS parking lots up to now. There is quite a bit if snow and tree debris clearing that will have to occur. The person I spoke with seemed genuinely interested in clearing the trail as soon as they can with the equipment they have, or may have soon.

  4. I’ve just been running down low-traffic streets (ha!). Tried the trails on Saturday; no go. On Sunday I stayed on the streets. It’s a little dangerous, but what else is there to do?

  5. Pingback: Theodore Roosevelt Island in Snow » We Love DC

  6. I tried to jog this weekend on the paths along Beach Dr / National Zoo in Rock Creek Park. They surely weren’t plowed or even salted, although there was a fair bit of foot traffic certain sections were nearly impassable. Even worse, the section of the trail from the zoo looked plowed till you got 1/2 down it and found shin deep snow the rest of the way and a locked get to get back to Beach Dr.

  7. Thanks for all the great feedback! Looks like we can wait for a melt, wait for a magical snowplow to appear, or squeeze in some more snowshoeing.

    Jake, a pic from yesterday on looked like it was taken from the bridge near the airport. Loads o’ snow.

  8. Craptastic. Oh well, looks like treadmill time for another week, *sigh*. Thanks for the update, Donna!

  9. Sure! I too would love a long run without dodging traffic, but walking in the snow can be a pretty good workout. At least I keep telling myself that.

  10. Today seems to be the first day where almost all the roads in Woodley Park are runnable without ice everywhere

    Only took 2 weeks…..ugh

  11. I just got an email from Mike Seibert at NPS, and they are going to try to start plowing the Capitol crescent trail today.