Stretches of remote forests, pristine shorelines, and charming communities comprise most of the scenery along the existing local, regional, state, and federal trails to be joined into one cross-Florida trail, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean through Central Florida. While some sections are scenic, some are more practical – connecting trails via neighborhoods, industrial parks and local roads. One such section is the Orange Gap in Orlando, which will connect the West Orange Trail in Southwest Orange County to the Seminole Wekiva Trail in Seminole County.
Now just a regular sidewalk for neighborhood subdivisions, a 1.3-mile stretch of Clarcona-Ocoee Road in Northwest Orlando will soon be getting a major upgrade. Funded for design as part of the Orange Gap, the Clarcona-Ocoee Road Connector will be a vital link in the Coast to Coast Trail.
The second section of the Orange Gap is a 3-mile extension of the Pine Hills Trail, which is funded for a PD&E study next year. This trail will follow a power line corridor along US-441 and Beggs Road through an industrial area and end at the Seminole County line.
The key feature of both sections of the Orange Gap according to MetroPlan Orlando Transportation Planner Mighk Wilson: residents of Pine Hills and the subdivisions along Clarcona-Ocoee Road will soon be able to access 250-miles of beautiful paved trail from their backyard, or just hop on their bike and cruise down to the store or dinner – safer, easier, and more enjoyable.