Status: Open to the public
Length: 0.4 miles
Trail Condition: Good
Difficulty: Easy (self-guided tour avaliable)
The George Washington Carver Nature Trail is a half-mile loop, adjacent to the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, on the north side of Suitland Parkway. The trail and the forest it passes through are a model for our vision of what woodlands throughout Ward 8 could look and feel like. The forest here is dominated by mature oaks, with mountain laurel scattered about the mostly open understory. The area is largely free of trash and invasive species and the roadway is visible from only one segment of the trail, giving you the sense of being far from the busy city.
Pick a morning or afternoon to experience some of the best natural beauty Ward 8 has to offer. Start at the Anacostia Museum, located at 1901 Fort Place SE in the Ft. Stanton neighborhood. Walking through the picnic areas to the rear building, you’ll see a metal sign at the edge of the woods that marks the trailhead. The easy half-mile loop takes about 20 minutes at a leisurely pace.
George Washington Carver (1864 –1943), was a groundbreaking African-American scientist, naturalist and professor who served as chairman of the Agriculture Department of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He was an early promoter of cover crops and organic fertilizers, and promoted crops, like peanuts and sweet potatoes, that could provide affordable nutrition and restore soil depleted by decades of cotton growing. Carver was also an avid naturalist who constantly observed and recorded the natural world around him.
The trail, created in the 1990s as a project of the Anacostia Community Museum, honors Dr. Carver’s legacy of reverence for nature and humans’ reliance upon it. A brochure from inside the museum and ten numbered signposts along the trail used to lead visitors on a self-guided tour. While we work with the museum to bring back the brochure, we are happy to offer two versions of the tour online
Ward 8 Woods assumed maintenance of the Carver Trail at the start of 2020, and a May 2021 Eagle Scout Project in cooperation with Ward 8 Woods restored the trail to prime condition. The Proposed Suitland Parkway Northside Trail (shown here in yellow) would extend east and west from the Carver Trail (shown in gray), connecting it to adjoining neighborhoods and forming a 2.6 mile trail network.
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