Length: 3.6 miles
Trail Difficulty: Challenging
As part of a National Park Service concept plan for Shepherd Parkway, Ward 8 Woods has proposed construction of a natural-surface foot path to open the ward’s largest wooded area to recreation for the first time. The Shepherd Parkway Trail would extend 3.6 miles along the ridgeline that gives the communities of Congress Heights and Bellevue their names, with nearly continuous westward views across the city.
Starting at LeBaum Street in the north, it would cross Malcolm X Avenue, South Capitol Street, Chesapeake Street, and Blue Plains Drive before terminating at the Bald Eagle Recreation Center on Joliet Street SW.
Along the way are nearly 200 acres of mature forest, the Civil War earthworks Forts Carroll and Grebel, a bald eagle nest, and a dozen small streams. Rugged topography and significant elevation change will make for a fitness challenge.
Well marked trailheads will provide access to and from adjoining residential and commercial areas and the newly constructed bike trail at the bottom of the hill.
Bald Eagle Hill Trail
Length: 1.4 miles
This 1.4 mile extension would begin where the Shepherd Parkway Trail ends and traverse the area known as Bald Eagle Hill, which connects with Oxon Cove Park across the state line in Maryland. Moving north and east, the trail would descend to the floodplain and follow Oxon Run upstream to a trailhead at South Capitol Street and 1st Street SW, which is also the western terminus of the (existing) Oxon Run Bike Trail.
Help make this vision a reality!
Sign our petition urging the National Park Service to grant permission for a trail.
The Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway began advocating for trail construction in this location since 2013. Ward 8 Woods took up the torch in 2018, pressing for the trail through written testimony and public meetings as part of the National Park Service’s planning process.
The final Shepherd Parkway Development Concept Plan that resulted from that process, released in December 2020, includes several options for trails, including paved trails along the perimeter and the natural surface woodland trails we envision.
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