Trail Opening Marks Armstrong's Centennial
Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Beginning and Enduring Past
Saturday, Dec. 1, marked an historic celebration that included the ribbon-cutting for the newest segment of the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail (PSAST). The first annual "Rails to Trails Festival" hosted by the Town of Armstrong and St. Johns County’s SEA Community Help Resource Center, Inc., was an opportunity to celebrate Armstrong’s illustrious 100 year history. The community gathered at Armstrong Park to promote the town and its connection to the newest segment of the 8.5-mile PSAST. St. Johns County and Armstrong are working to develop the community into a trailhead that will eventually offer amenities and services to park and trail visitors.
This developing trail is a critical segment of the St. Johns River-To-The-Sea Loop, a multi-county initiative and a major component of the East Coast Greenway. In Palatka, the PSAST will ultimately connect to the developing Urban Palatka Trail, which held its ground breaking ceremony on Oct. 30, and the Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail (PLBST), with the ultimate plan to provide the region with a continuous, unabridged trail corridor from St. Augustine to Lake City.
Both the PSAST and the PLBST are managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks. The development of both projects is being overseen and primarily funded by the District 2 Office of the Florida Department of Transportation.
We extend a special thanks to Malinda Peeples and her team at the SEA Community Help Resource Center, Inc., and the residents of the Town of Armstrong for hosting such a meaningful event.
Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island Trail under Construction
For more than a decade, residents of Amelia Island and surrounding areas in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia have envisioned and campaigned for a paved trail alongside scenic portions of Highway A1A. The dream of the Amelia Island Trail (AIT) which was once just a concept, is well on its way to becoming a reality.
Recently, the Florida Department of Transportation awarded a $2.3 million contract to J.B. Coxwell Contracting Co. of Jacksonville; trail construction began in October and is scheduled for completion spring 2013.
Once complete, the AIT will offer 6.2 miles of paved, shaded, traffic-free, multi-use trail opportunities. Nassau County’s Peters Point Park will serve as the northern trailhead. The trail will subsequently connect to Amelia Island State Park. Continuing south, the Historic George Crady Bridge will unite the AIT with the Timucuan Trail which is being constructed in phases within the collective Talbot Island State Parks. The Timucuan Trail has completed 4.9 miles and another 11.6 miles are planned.
Eventually, this network will collectively provide abundant amounts of multi-use, unobstructed recreational mileage that will become part of the East Coast Greenway, a planned 3,000-mile path between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida.
The nonprofit organization, Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc., has recently been established with the ambition of keeping the AIT dream alive by raising funds to maintain the trail and provide future trailside enhancements.
Office of Greenways and Trails Connections Newletter. For information, please contact Angie Bright at Angie.Bright@dep.state.fl.us
FDEP Office of Greenways & Trails | 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS 795 | Tallahassee | FL | 32399