Office of Greenways and Trails - Connections Newsletter December 2012

Florida Greenways and Trails Connections

Bridge and Trail Extension Project Bound for Dunnellon 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service hosted a groundbreaking event on Oct. 25 to celebrate the start of construction activities on a new multi-use trail and bridge in Dunnellon. Construction of the Dunnellon Bridge and Trail Project is scheduled to begin by the end of this month.

Located on the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, the project will feature two trailheads, one located in Citrus County near CR 39 and the other in Marion County near the Dunnellon ball fields. Connecting the two trailheads will be a three-mile, 12-foot-wide, paved multi-use trail. The intent is to ultimately have the Dunnellon trace connect to the Withlacoochee State Trail, which is at present the longest paved rail-trail in Florida at 46 miles.

The new bridge, located at the site of an old railroad trestle, will stretch 280-feet across the Withlacoochee River and will connect the trail from east to west. Construction funding for this project is provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, as well as from an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant.


Trail Opening Marks Armstrong's Centennial

Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Beginning and Enduring Past

Town of Armstrong's Centennial Celebration and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail

Saturday, Dec. 1, marked an historic celebration that included the ribbon-cutting for the newest segment of the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail (PSAST). The first annual "Rails to Trails Festival" hosted by the Town of Armstrong and St. Johns County’s SEA Community Help Resource Center, Inc., was an opportunity to celebrate Armstrong’s illustrious 100 year history. The community gathered at Armstrong Park to promote the town and its connection to the newest segment of the 8.5-mile PSAST. St. Johns County and Armstrong are working to develop the community into a trailhead that will eventually offer amenities and services to park and trail visitors.

This developing trail is a critical segment of the St. Johns River-To-The-Sea Loop, a multi-county initiative and a major component of the East Coast Greenway. In Palatka, the PSAST will ultimately connect to the developing Urban Palatka Trail, which held its ground breaking ceremony on Oct. 30, and the Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail (PLBST), with the ultimate plan to provide the region with a continuous, unabridged trail corridor from St. Augustine to Lake City.

Both the PSAST and the PLBST are managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks. The development of both projects is being overseen and primarily funded by the District 2 Office of the Florida Department of Transportation.

We extend a special thanks to Malinda Peeples and her team at the SEA Community Help Resource Center, Inc., and the residents of the Town of Armstrong for hosting such a meaningful event.


Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island Trail under Construction

Amelia Island Trail Under Construction

For more than a decade, residents of Amelia Island and surrounding areas in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia have envisioned and campaigned for a paved trail alongside scenic portions of Highway A1A. The dream of the Amelia Island Trail (AIT) which was once just a concept, is well on its way to becoming a reality.

Recently, the Florida Department of Transportation awarded a $2.3 million contract to J.B. Coxwell Contracting Co. of Jacksonville; trail construction began in October and is scheduled for completion spring 2013.

Once complete, the AIT will offer 6.2 miles of paved, shaded, traffic-free, multi-use trail opportunities. Nassau County’s Peters Point Park will serve as the northern trailhead. The trail will subsequently connect to Amelia Island State Park. Continuing south, the Historic George Crady Bridge will unite the AIT with the Timucuan Trail which is being constructed in phases within the collective Talbot Island State Parks. The Timucuan Trail has completed 4.9 miles and  another 11.6 miles are planned.

Eventually, this network will collectively provide abundant amounts of multi-use, unobstructed recreational mileage that will become part of the East Coast Greenway, a planned 3,000-mile path between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida.

The nonprofit organization, Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc., has recently been established with the ambition of keeping the AIT dream alive by raising funds to maintain the trail and provide future trailside enhancements.


Office of Greenways and Trails Connections Newletter. For information, please contact Angie Bright at

FDEP Office of Greenways & Trails | 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS 795 | Tallahassee | FL | 32399