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New hiking trail to open east of the Anacostia River this weekend

The Pope Branch Trail is the first unpaved trail managed by the city

A pair of hiking boots on top of a bed of grass and leaves. Shutterstock

The city’s parks department will cut the ribbon Saturday on the Pope Branch Trail, a new, nearly mile-long trail in Southeast that the department says will be the first unpaved trail within its portfolio. The trail will run along the Pope Branch, an offshoot of the Anacostia River. The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. at Branch Avenue and M Street SE in Penn Branch.

“We are excited to celebrate and reveal another hidden gem in the District, in particular one that is East of the River,” parks department director Delano Hunter says in a statement. The trail was built with the help of high school students working with the nonprofit Student Conservation Association. They put in eight bog bridges, a turnpike, and other supports.

The trail is located in Ward 7. Don’t miss these other local spots to see foliage and go hiking.