The Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA) is one of the 11 Heritage Areas in Maryland. ATHA is responsible for preserving 84 sq miles of Northern Prince George’s County and is dedicated to “preserving, renovating, enhancing, and publicizing the rich history, vibrant cultural activities, and beautiful natural recreation sites within the area.” They provide the public with opportunities to enjoy their heritage area by hosting bike rides, movie series, and municipal events. ATHA is currently involved with two big projects: planning and implementation of major events and visitor experiences to celebrate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and providing people with a “comprehensive wayfinding system” by putting up signs in local communities that explain their history and has a list of historical sites and tour route maps on their website.
A great way to get involved with ATHA is to take part of their June 4th Bike Rally event. ATHA will have four routes: a “trike” ride for younger participants, a ride for young adults in the College Park/University of Maryland area, a ride around the historical region of the War of 1812, and an “advanced rider” program of 25 miles that goes beyond ATHA borders. In addition to these four established routes, ATHA staff can take new participants on shorter rides to show them the trail system, heritage area, and their resources. Onsite registration begins at 8:30 at 5240 Paint Branch Parkway in College park, kick off is at 9:30, and lunch begins around 11:30. For further details, to pre-register for the event, or to reserve a rental bike visit ATHA’s webpage here.
Last but not least, help ATHA win a free “OnCell QR Code Tour” program! With this program, ATHA will be able to create a tour system for their heritage area and the War of 1812 program that will be accessible by smartphone. All visitors will have to do is to scan the QR code, and they will have access to tour content, logos, images, video, tour map, text captioning, and GPS-navigational features! Vote here for ATHA…and hurry, the voting ends on May 25th!