Office of Greenways and Trails Connections - Fall 2012

Florida Greenways and Trails Connections

Northwest Florida's Newest Nature Trails - Hinson Trails Grand Opening

Hinson Trails
On Sept. 29, in celebration of National Public Lands Day® and Florida Greenways and Trails Month, the city of Marianna will host the Grand Opening of the newly added Hinson Trails to the existing Chipola River Greenway, Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area. The land which was initially acquired with Florida Forever funding through DEP’s Division of Recreation and Parks, Office of Greenways and Trails, originally opened in 2010, and two years later will now unveil the newly constructed Hinson Trails that will showcase the same beautiful, natural resources.
Development of the four-mile trail system was a combined effort of nearly 900 volunteer hours lead by the Panhandle Chapter of the Florida Trail Association, the city and several other area volunteer organizations. For more information about the city of Marianna’s grand opening events, the Chipola River Greenway, Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area and Hinson Trails or volunteer opportunities contact Kay Dennis at (850) 482-2786 or visit the Florida Trail Association’s website.

The Sustainable & Authentic Florida Conference

Sustainable and Authentic Florida Conference Poster, bright, sunny with vibrant yellow and organge color combinations
Register now for the Sustainable & Authentic Florida (S&AFL) Conference, scheduled for Oct. 17-19, in Anna Maria Island. Trail consultants, planners and developers are chief among registrants for this symposium. The conference will explore new opportunities in post-recession Florida placemaking. Four cities and counties will discuss their success with placemaking economics: Miami Beach (South Beach), DeLand, portions of Wakulla and Franklin counties, and coastal Manatee County.
“The conference is an outgrowth of OGT’s Developer Forums from the last decade,” says conference director Herb Hiller. “It looks at how economies focused on protecting nonrenewable resources lead to ‘place marketing’ at a time when Americans increasingly seek authenticity in its choice of places to live and vacation.”
For more details and registration information visit the Sustainable & Authentic Florida Conference website.

The City of Holly Hill Adds to the East Coast Greenway - The Pat Northey Trail

The East Coast Greenway has a newly completed section. Not long ago, the city of Holly Hill—along Florida’s central East Coast—held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Pat Northey Holly Hill Greenway Trail. Pat Northey, a Volusia County commissioner and ardent trail advocate, renown for her hard work, dedication and accomplishments throughout her community was celebrated.
The Pat Northey Holly Hill Greenway Trail is now a part of the East Coast Greenway Trail System. This section is part of the Halifax River Trail, which is approximately 11.55 miles in length. It extends from the Riverwalk Project in Port Orange to Cassen Park in Ormond Beach, including the cities of Port Orange, South Daytona, Daytona Beach, Holly Hill and Ormond Beach.
The East Coast Greenway runs mainly along the coast, through beachside villages, historic sites, vast nature preserves and many major cities including Jacksonville and Miami. Florida enjoys the longest portion of the Greenway with the most miles of completed trails. The city of Holly Hill is excited to be part of that feat.

October is Florida Greenways and Trails Month

FGTS Plan Logo
Join us in celebrating Florida Greenways and Trails Month. Every October we take the time to recognize and highlight the many outdoor recreational opportunities that are available in Florida. Greenways and Trails help to advance Florida’s economy, tourism, health, alternative transportation, recreation, conservation and quality of life.
This October, the Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) is focusing on the statewide network of greenways and trails by developing the new vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS). The new FGTS Plan is being amended to establish priorities and define the role of the Office of Greenways and Trails and its many partners. This is the first update to the FGTS Plan since adoption of the original plan by the Florida Legislature over a decade ago.
The FGTS maps developed by OGT in coordination with the Florida Greenways and Trails Council, federal, state and regional agency partners, local governments and allied organizations are also being updated. Public Open Houses are being held throughout the state to receive public comments. We will continue to take public comments on the plan through October 5. By getting involved and offering input, you can be a part of Florida’s Greenways and Trails vision.
For details about the plan and more information, visit the FGTS webpage.

Bridging the Gaps - Connecting Communities

New Sections Open for Two State Rail-Trails on Florida’s East Coast
Just in time for Florida Greenways and Trails Month, St. Johns County welcomes an additional five miles of trail to the existing area trail network, which includes the 260-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop and the East Coast Greenway. The Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail extension, also known as the State Road 207 Rail-Trail, effectively serves as a multimodal transportation connector for the towns of Armstrong and Spuds. In the same region, Putnam County has taken an opportunity to close trail gaps throughout downtown Palatka by linking the PSAST to the Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail, managed by the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Recreation and Parks.
Recognizing the importance of connecting communities and giving citizens alternative transportation choices, the Florida Department of Transportation additionally completed two 8.5-mile segments of newly developed trail along the same corridor. The PLBST sector stretches more than 47 miles from the vicinity of State Road 238 in Lake Butler to west of US 17 in Palatka. Purchased with Preservation 2000 funds through the Florida Greenways and Trails Acquisition Program, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy played a key role in preserving the corridor for conversion to a rail-trail, which was designated as part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System in 2007.

Improvements are Underway for the Lehigh Greenway Rail-Trail

Trailhead improvements have begun for the Lehigh Greenway Rail-Trail. Late last month, Flagler County officials and area citizens gathered to witness the highly anticipated ground breaking ceremony for the Lehigh Greenway Rail-Trail Trailhead addendum.
Lehigh Trail is located in Flagler County on approximately eight miles of abandoned railroad corridor land. The property was originally purchased in December 2000 for $280,000, with funds provided by the state’s Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Money to develop the trail came from a federal grant issued by the Florida Department of Transportation, as did the current monies that support the present trailhead expansion project.
In February 2002, the county entered into a sublease with DEP and now manages the Lehigh Greenway Rail-Trail which is now part of the overall network of Florida's greenways and trails. In December 2008, the trail was fully completed and dedicated to the community at large.
The trailhead located at Belle Terre Parkway and Colbert Lane in Palm Coast (Flagler County), is now being transformed and, when completed in spring 2013, will showcase an area to include a monument sign, 31 parking spaces, bathroom facilities, a pet station, bike racks, trash receptacles, benches and trail signage.

Northeast Florida Welcomes New Timucuan Trail Section

Timucuan Trail Riders
Big Talbot Island State Park recently opened a nearly three-mile, 10-foot-wide, paved multi-use trail section of the planned 18.1-mile Timucuan Trail in Northeast Florida. The section adds to the existing two miles of paved trail at Little Talbot Island State Park. The Timucuan Trail route, running from Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park to Amelia Island State Park, is part of the massive East Coast Greenway trail project. The East Coast Greenway aims to connect cities and towns of the East Coast from Maine to Key West in a continuous, traffic-free path.
The recently completed Big Talbot section winds through maritime forest of gnarled live oaks, bays and magnolias surrounded by palmetto. Trail users can enjoy access to the beach and learn more about the area’s natural and cultural significance at four interpretive displays funded by Friends of Talbot Islands State Parks. To learn how you can help support the Friends group, visit the Talbot Island website.