Because I write for RunWashington but live on the Eastern Shore, I set a 2020 goal to run in at least six new-to-me places in the Washington, D.C., area, which I figured would include the District, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
I had the day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20, and after the PHUNT Trail Race 25K that Saturday, I spent the weekend hanging out with friends and family and laying around.
The D.C. area wasn’t on my way back home from my mom and stepdad’s house, but I figured I’d go a little out of the way and check out the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail, or WB&A Trail, in Bowie.
I found a trailhead online that was off Race Track Road — close to the Bowie State University campus. There is also a part of the trail in Anne Arundel County that isn’t connected to the Prince George’s County part. A map and more information about the part of the trail that I ran on can be found on the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation website.
This trail was also close to the Patuxent Research Refuge, where I explored for the first time last year.
After the challenging PHUNT course, I took a rest day Sunday before running this trail Monday. I decided to run six miles, but I did run-walk intervals because I was still recovering from PHUNT and didn’t want to go too fast.
The trail was paved and pretty quiet. I saw some other people, but not too many — and although it was a holiday, it was a Monday, so some people may have been working.
I ran three miles out and three miles back; this portion of the trail is 5.6 miles, according to the website. The trail was paved and was mostly the more narrow width I’d expect for a paved trail, but at times, it was shared with portions of road. The trail has markers every half-mile.
Right away, there was a tunnel to cross under, and later on, there would be bridges.
The trail runs along power lines, which reminded me of the New Smyrna Beach Pedestrian Trail in Florida. The more trails I run, the more they seem to remind me of each other.
I did hear gunshots early on, and not too far into the run, I came across a gun club that was right off the trail. The part of the trail that I ran mostly seemed surrounded by nature, but there were parts where I went past neighborhoods. The trail seemed mostly flat, but I did notice some hills.
During the run, I listened to Andrea Barber’s book “Full Circle,” which I absolutely loved. More on that in a future post!