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Environmental Postcards

Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway

Florida Map with star over Cross Florida Greenway

Crossing central Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River is the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. The 110-mile conservation and recreation corridor offers a network of hiking, biking, horseback riding and paddling trails, while providing the opportunity to observe plant and wildlife habitats.

Much of this premier Greenway was the former Cross Florida Barge Canal, one of Florida’s biggest public works projects. Started in 1933 as a ship canal project, President Richard Nixon stopped construction in 1971. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed a law changing the purpose of the project lands.

This led the way for the creation of today’s Cross Florida Greenway. In 1998, the trail was named for Marjorie Harris Carr, an environmentalist who led the fight to stop the Barge Canal Project.

What once were barge canal diggings are now recreation trails and wildlife habitats. The Greenway is home to gopher tortoises, whitetail deer, squirrels, shore birds, waterfowl, alligators and manatees.

The Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge, a landscaped overpass that connects the east and west sides of the Greenway, allows trail users and wildlife to safely cross six lanes of Interstate 75 traffic near Ocala.

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Cross Florida Greenway post card