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Orlando Sentinel: Ribbon cutting is next week for South Lake Trail extension near Clermont

30Bicycle enthusiasts, lovers of the great outdoors, hikers and those with a passion for nature, take note: there will be a ribbon cutting next week for the South Lake Trail Extension.

This third phase of the South Lake Trail is more than 3.5 miles long, and runs from Silver Eagle Road to the Clermont Trailhead. In addition, two new pedestrian bridges got constructed during this phase, including the 140-foot steel stand-alone pedestrian bridge along Lake Minneola, and a 406-foot concrete bridge.

Best of all, bring the bicycles along to this event. After the ceremony, there will be a group bike ride or walk along the new portion of the trail.

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners, in conjunction with the Department of Public Works, the Parks & Trails Division and the City of Clermont, is inviting the public to attend the ceremony, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26.

The trail serves a dual purpose. It is a part of Lake County’s ongoing efforts to highlight its natural beauty, while also becoming more accessible to those who enjoy using bicycles or being outdoors.

At the same time, this trail portion is part of the Coast-to-Coast Connector, a bicycle trail that will run from St. Petersburg through Orlando and to Cape Canaveral.

The Florida Department of Transportation funded a majority of the nearly $3 million project, while an additional $130,000 was provided by Lake County. The county built the trail and will turn it over to the city of Clermont for maintenance.

Parking for the ceremony will be available at Lake Hiawatha Preserve, 450 N. 12th St., Clermont. Participants are being asked to wear comfortable shoes and arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow for the quarter-mile walk from the parking facility to the ribbon cutting site at the new steel pedestrian bridge.

A shuttle will also be provided beginning at 8:45 a.m. to bring guests who prefer not to walk to and from the parking location.

Michael W. Freeman

[email protected] or 407-420-5290

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