Following the route of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Metropolitan Branch rail line, the Met Branch Trail is a busy urban rail-with-trail that shares a corridor with Metro's Red Line, MARC commuter service, CSX freight trains and Amtrak. Currently, the trail is a mix of on-road and off-road facilities.
Beginning at Union Station with a wide sidepath along 2nd Street, NE, the trail becomes an off-road pathway for 1.5 miles between L Street, NE, and Franklin Street. Via grade-separated crossings of Rhode Island, New York and Florida avenues, this section of the trail provides a link between many of Northeast D.C.'s neighborhoods, including Brookland, Eckington, Edgewood and NoMa.
Continuing north, the trail is routed on 8th Street, NE, and along a sidepath on John McCormack Road near Catholic University. From here, the Met Branch follows a signed on-street bike route to Takoma Park, where a small section of off-road trail crosses the border between the District and Maryland.
Future plans call for the replacement of portions of the current on-street route with an off-road trail, as well as a direct connection with an extended Capital Crescent Trail
in Silver Spring.
The Met Branch Trail is accessible via the Union Station, NoMa, Rhode Island Avenue, Brookland and Takoma Metro stations.
I tried the new MBT from Union Station (southern terminus) northward, during July. The southern half is well marked EXCEPT for the section from the roadside trail (on sidewalk) to the off street dedicated trail at the Greyhound Bus Station. The trail ...