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Klingle Valley Trail

Ending a long story with a sustainable solution

Washington, DC

Closed to the public since 1991 due to severe, storm-caused deterioration, northwestern DC’s Klingle Valley Road resembled the set of a scary movie. Hidden in a ravine, the rubble of the old road within the valley went largely unnoticed by most people in DC.

After nearly two decades of debating whether or not to rebuild the road, DC law mandated that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) evaluate the environmental remediation of its right-of-way through Klingle Valley, transecting Rock Creek Park to create a permeable, multi-use trail. A trail like this required a design that reduces the erosive forces of the urban runoff and provides a safe and sustainable path through the steep stream valley.

From the environmental assessment in 2009 through the final ribbon-cutting in 2017, we helped the City find a resilient, context-sensitive solution with substantial community buy-in thanks to extensive public and stakeholder engagement.

Working closely with DDOT and Natural Park Services (NPS), we navigated the myriad of environmental compliance steps to design a trail that minimized its impact through trail permeability, creek restoration, and stormwater management.

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