DEP Celebrates Dunedin as Florida's First Trail Town

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DEP Celebrates Dunedin as Florida's First Trail Town

~The trail is an attraction for visitors and an economic asset for the community~

Dunedine Photo

Partners unveil Trail Town sign during event on April 19.

DUNEDIN, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection joined the city of Dunedin and local officials to celebrate the designation of Dunedin as the first Florida Trail Town. Additionally, DEP announced that work will begin soon on the Honeymoon Island Spur Trail, a 1.36-mile paved trail that will connect Honeymoon Island State Park to Dunedin.

Governor Rick Scott said, “In Florida, we are incredibly proud of our state’s beautiful environment and DEP works relentlessly to keep Florida’s outdoor spaces and trails pristine for the millions of families and visitors that enjoy them each year. I want to congratulate the city of Dunedin on being named the first Florida Trail Town. Trails not only provide outstanding opportunities for recreation, but they also help boost the local economy, generating nearly $60 billion each year and supporting nearly 500,000 jobs.”

“Our trails are incredibly important as they connect our communities to the natural treasures around them,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “I would like to congratulate the City of Dunedin on being the first trail town in recognition of the incredible network of trails in the community, and the benefits those trails provide residents and visitors year-round.”

We are proud to partner with Dunedin and Pinellas County on our common goal of getting people outside and enjoying the state’s natural resources,” said DEP’s Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper. “The Trail Town designation tells the nation that Dunedin is Florida’s most pedestrian and bicycle friendly city, as well as a thriving, desirable place to live. We are proud to announce that the multi-use trail connecting Dunedin to Honeymoon Island will be extended into our most visited state park. We expect more communities to follow Dunedin’s lead and secure the economic and health benefits of resource-based recreation.  

Florida Trail Town is a community close to a long-distance non-motorized recreational trail and welcomes hikers, bicyclists, skaters and joggers with restaurants, shops and lodging. The multi-use Pinellas Trail, stretching from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, runs through downtown Dunedin on a former railroad corridor. Town officials credit the trail for a sharp rise in the downtown business occupancy rate, from 30 percent to 100 percent, including bike shops, cafes, lodging and other businesses that meet the needs of residents and trail users.

“We couldn’t be more proud,” said Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski. “Our downtown has thrived around the trail and attracted folks from all ages and abilities. We like to think of the trail as the main artery of our community.”

To recognize Florida’s Trail Towns, DEP’s Office of Greenways and Trails encourages interested communities to conduct self-assessments to gauge their strengths and weaknesses in relation to nearby trails and users. Trail Town candidates are then considered for approval by the legislatively established Florida Greenways and Trails Council. Designated Trail Towns will be featured on the Office of Greenways and Trails website and given metal signs that can be placed at trailheads and town gateways.