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Office of Greenways and Trails

Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail

In Development

 

Managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT), the Palatka to Lake Butler State Trail (PLBST) corridor stretches nearly 47 miles from the vicinity of SR 238 in Lake Butler to west of US 17 in Palatka. The project corridor, purchased with Preservation 2000 funds through the OGT Acquisition Program, is located along the former Norfolk-Southern Railroad right-of-way. 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 & Trails System in 2007. The trail corridor is being constructed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on the existing, abandoned railroad bed through Putnam, Union, Clay and Bradford counties. Funding for the design and construction is being provided by multiple funding sources including FDEP OGT and FDOT.

Construction of a 12-foot-wide, multi-use recreational trail along this corridor is being completed in phases. The first paved section of 5.2 miles opened in Clay County in 2008, funded in part through the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century Act. Twin Lakes Parks in Keystone Heights serves as the main trailhead for the Clay County segment of the PLBST. Managed by Clay County Parks and Recreation, Twin Lakes Park was developed with funding from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP). The Clay County segment of the PLBST connects to a 10-foot wide, 5.5 mile bike path opened by FDOT in 2009 along State Road (SR) 21. The SR 21 bike path runs north from downtown Keystone Heights to Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park. 

Construction of the 4-mile segment of the PLBST connecting Clay County to Putnam County and the town of Grandin, using “stimulus” funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was completed in October, 2010. Design work is underway on the segment that will connect the Union Depot Park to a point near the New River. Managed by the City of Lake Butler and funded by FRDAP, Union Depot Park will serve as the main trailhead for the Union County segment of the PLBST.

There are plans to connect St. Augustine to Lake City by way of this trail system at some future date, to make the total length of the Trail over 100 miles. A portion of the PLBST will be designated as part of the 1400-mile Florida National Scenic Trail. 

 

 

 

Last updated: January 20, 2011

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