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For Immediate Release: Oct. 3, 2011

Contact: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us


~Florida’s state greenways and trails are perfect venues for fall hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and paddling~

Image of arbor over the Tallahassee-St. Marks Trail in Woodville, FL

Florida Greenways and Trails Month 2011 poster featuring the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail.

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Rick Scott proclaimed the month of October as Florida Greenways and Trails Month, celebrating the important recreational and economic benefits of Florida’s greenways and trails. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service, Office of Greenways & Trails welcomes this annual occasion to recognize communities throughout the state as they host events on the more than 600 miles of beautiful greenways and trails in Florida
“Greenways and Trails Month offers Floridians and visitors the opportunity to come together and celebrate the wealth of natural resources available to them throughout the state,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “This is the perfect time of year to take a long stroll on your favorite trail or dust off your bike and find some great new riding spots along Florida’s state trails.”
To commemorate Florida Greenways and Trails Month, DEP will hold a special reopening ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail. The event will take place at the north trailhead in Woodville to celebrate the newly resurfaced and widened 16-mile multi-use trail. After more than 20 years of service, Florida’s first paved rail-trail has been widened to 12 feet, to meet current state and national standards.
“Florida is home to a wide variety of nature-based recreational opportunities,” said Kent Wimmer, Chair of the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. “October is a great time of year to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and explore the state’s many beautiful trails, parks and forests.”
Events throughout the state will highlight the value of Florida’s greenways and trails as an affordable, accessible source of recreation and effective boost to Florida’s tourism. During Fiscal Year 2010-2011, the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway and state trails managed by the Office of Greenways & Trails welcomed more than 4 million visitors, generating an estimated $94 million in economic impact. A recent study conducted by the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council concluded that three trails in Orange County supported 516 jobs and an estimated economic impact of $42.6 million in 2010.
Developed in response to increased demand for trails by Florida visitors, VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, created a website that provides a range of travel-related information for more than 100 trails throughout Florida. Those ready to hike, bike, paddle or horseback ride on the state’s unique system of trails and greenways can visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com/trails.