Capital City to the Sea Master Plan Underway
Long distance and regional loop trail systems are becoming increasingly popular as a form of nature-based tourism. As an added benefit, they support healthy lifestyles and economic development.
In 2009, the Wakulla County Commission unanimously approved Resolution 09-46 establishing the Capital City to the Sea Trail (CC2ST) concept to connect existing and planned trails. Trails encompassed in the Commission’s conceptual plan include the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, the GF&A corridor, the Ochlockonee Bay Trail and the Capital Cascades Trail. Subsequently, the Apalachee Regional Planning Council and the City of Carrabelle followed the Wakulla County Commission’s lead and have now become allies in the initiative.
Within the Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan Priority Network, the CC2ST begins in Leon County near Florida’s Capitol, extends through Wakulla County and on to the Carrabelle River in Franklin County. A Master Plan, funded by the Capital Regional Planning Agency, is being developed and a series of Public Workshops occurring in Leon and Wakulla Counties are scheduled through December. The Master Plan will provide guidance for funding and programming, and set the stage for government and private sector partnerships.
Palatka’s New Trail History
What does Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway and the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad have in common? A regional section of rail-trail, which links two rail histories spanning the St. Johns River in Palatka.
The East Coast Railway passage from St. Augustine to East Palatka to Espanola (near Bunnell) and the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad segment from Lake City to Palatka were abandoned decades ago and in recent years the majority of the corridor was acquired for inclusion in the state’s trail network.
The City of Palatka and Putnam County are embracing the Urban Palatka Trail and its future, as it is a significant part of their trail vision and master plan to create a trail hub that links many pathways and blueways in Palatka. Some of these include the St. Johns River, Cross Florida Greenway, Florida National Scenic Trail, St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, East Coast Greenway and several multipurpose connectors to Gainesville, Green Cove Springs and Crescent City.
The merger of these two rail-trail entities will be historical in its own right by creating a corridor that extends more than 100 miles in length. Communities that are a part of this project are numerous and very excited.
To celebrate this major accomplishment, a trail festival is planned for Sat., Aug. 17 in conjunction with the trail segment opening. For details, visit Putnam Blueways & Trails CSO on Facebook.
Article Contribution by: Kraig McLane, Vice-chair Putnam County Trail Council
Groundbreaking on Historic Bagdad Mills Site
Santa Rosa County in partnership with Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc. hosted a groundbreaking event on June 5 to celebrate the start of construction activities for Bagdad Mill Site Park which will feature a multi-purpose trail loop when complete.
The 21-acre Bagdad Mill Site, located at the confluence of Pond Creek and Blackwater River in the historic community of Bagdad, was previously the setting for the Bagdad Land and Lumber Company sawmill which operated from 1835 to 1939. The site was acquired by the State of Florida Board of Trustees in 2000 and was leased to the county for development as a passive recreation area in 2004.
With Phase I of construction improvements officially beginning, several amenities, in addition to the trail, are planned for users. A handicap accessible fishing pier, picnic areas, a water fountain, benches, educational exhibits, bike racks and parking are just some of the facilities that will be available to the public.
Development is expected to wrap up summer 2014. Phase I improvements are partially funded with a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection’s, Office of Intergovernmental Programs,Coastal Partnership Initiative grant.
OGT’s Doug Alderson cuts the ribbon to mark completion of the Apalachee Bay Maritime Heritage Paddling Trail System in Wakulla County, as reported in the Spring 2013 - Issue of Connections. For more information, maps and guides click here.
Office of Greenways and Trails Connections Newsletter. 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