The Georgetown Branch Trail first opened 20 years ago. Now the popular local walking and biking trail will be closed until 2022 due to construction, and people are not happy about it.

The green, beautiful and lush Georgetown Branch Trail is now closed as construction has begun on the Metro’s Purple Line, and will remained closed until the line is complete. The 3.1-mile trail is a tree-lined nature oasis for many walkers, joggers and bikers, extending from Silver Spring to Bethesda. Despite federal lawsuits filed by The Friends of the Capital Crescent City Trail group and other setbacks, the line’s construction has already started and can no longer be blocked. The land upon which Georgetown Branch Trail was constructed was purchased by the county in the 1980’s, with the intent of becoming a new transit line. Prior to the construction, as no plans had been made for a transit line, the county put the land to use by making it an extension of the Capital Crescent Trail -- which runs from Georgetown to Bethesda. The Georgetown Branch Trail became somewhat of a getaway for local area residents, even though County officials and residents alike knew that the trail would close someday. [gallery size="large" ids="3589,3588,3590,3591,3595"] Even though the Georgetown Branch Trail will reopen in 2022, it won’t be the same. Most of the trees will be gone and the gravel path will be paved with concrete; the hum of crickets and frogs will have given way to the hum of passing trains. While locals are upset that their nature oasis is gone, the town of Chevy Chase will not be issuing an official signed detour route along town roads. The main concern is that bikers and joggers could potentially get injured using busy alternate routes. Simply put, it seems like the county does not want to hold the town liable in the event of injuries or accidents.  The town has unsuccessfully attempted to hold in meetings with the county in recent months, however both sides hope to come to an agreement soon. In the meantime, bikers and joggers are allowed to use the designated, unofficial alternate routes. What are your thoughts on the Georgetown Branch Trail closing for construction? Share your thoughts and concerns with us in the comments below.

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