The Awesome Woodworth Trail



I’d seen the signs. I’d heard a little bit about it, but I have to admit that I had no idea Cheverly had a ‘real’ walking nature trail. It’s sad actually. I spent 7 years of my life living in a small Austrian village hiking from one area to another in the Alps. I’ve desperately missed nature and my walking trails and yet I had no clue that we had such an amazing trail in my own backyard! Please tell me that I’m not alone here… This past weekend I spent Sat morning walking through my old stomping grounds, Capitol Hill. When I returned to the homeland (Cheverly) my kids were playing in the woods at Euclid Park. (which I love but watch out for deer ticks) I loved watching them and was reminded of Woodworth Trail at Town Park. My thought was that the trail would be a short (5 min or less) walk but boy oh boy was I ever pleasantly surprised. The trail is a mile long and it is stunning. Except for the noise of traffic on Hwy 50, you feel like you are out in the woods miles from the District. My 6 year old read all of the tree signs and I was overflowing with thankfulness for the path we’d just discovered. Please don’t wait as long as I waited to discover this amazing trail.

On another note, I Choose Cheverly because of the amazing, hardworking visionaries in our town. Apparently there is a group of people who had a vision for this trail and have both created it and maintained it. I need to have someone from The Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek explain all the ins and outs of the trail and how we can both 1) use it and 2) help maintain it. The Wall Street Journal wrote a great story that features the Woodworth Trail. (see below) So go check it out for yourselves—and if any of my readers know more about the trail, please comment below!

In 2004, neighbors in Cheverly, Md., became interested in a five-acre stretch of woods running alongside a nearby creek. “Nobody ever used them because they couldn’t get through the junk to see these beautiful trees and streams and pond,” says Cathy Smith, a freelance writer. Invasives including Chinese wisteria and Japanese stilt grass, plus trash that had snuck in from a busy highway, were overrunning the native plants.

That fall, Ms. Smith and her husband put a notice in the town newsletter asking neighbors to help them clear weeds and build a trail. To their surprise, about 15 people showed up on a Saturday morning. “It was a whole lot of people we would have never met before, but who were all interested in having a place to take their kids and walk the dog,” says Ms. Smith. “People brought weed whackers, chain saws, and we hacked our way through very dense, overgrown woods.”

Today, a regular weed-clearing takes place on the last Saturday of every month. The group calls themselves Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek, Ms. Smith says, and brings plenty of coffee. Now, the trail is almost a mile long and growing. Homemade markers point to native trees such as paw-paws and birches that once were choked. Volunteers have noticed a return of birds and butterflies.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Aimee says:

    That sign features two of Abel’s handmade bird houses! BTW, the one in our front yard is currently home to its second nest of babies this spring!

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