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News To Use / People On Bikes / Trails

Seminole County Calls for Trails Master Plan and Investment

by Will R. Wills

Since the start of the pandemic, many folks have been working from home, often facing long hours in front of video calls and emails.  When the working day is done, they are heading outdoors looking for fresh air, exercise, and time to decompress. For many residents this has meant heading out to the Seminole County trail system. As a result, there has been an uptick in trail use and demand, with more neighbors walking, biking, and rollerblading. 

You might be surprised to find that there are currently more than 140 miles of trails to enjoy in Seminole County.  But there are also gaps, places where the trails need to be expanded to offer greater connectivity, and required upkeep.  To address these opportunities, the Seminole County Board of Commissioners is updating its Trail Master Plan to add another 100 miles of trails and invest upwards of $90 million over the next 10 to 15 years.

“This master plan looks forward another 10 or 15 years and says what are the other opportunities we have in this system,” said Richard Durr director of Seminole County Leisure Activities in an interview with Spectrum News 13.  “We want to create these connections between neighborhoods and the trails, between schools and the trails, between businesses and the trails.”

Designs include laying 8- and 10-foot-wide pathways along roads that can get you from one trail segment to another, repairing any areas where the trail has degraded, and the addition of restrooms at key points.

Big Tree Park Trail

Currently, county staff and resident volunteers are wrapping up some final reviews of the master plan, and then the recommendations will be presented to the Seminole County Commissioners in late April.

The ultimate goal is to connect the Coast-to-Coast Trail to Seminole County so that technically anyone with the gumption and leg strength could bike from east to west coast.   Other parts of the master plan include finishing a trail with a path through the center of the county stretching from Big Tree Park to the Cross Seminole Trail where it connects to Orange County, a two-mile trail that will span historic Midway Community in Sanford, much-needed work on the Flagler Trail, two additional trailheads on the Seminole Wekiva Trail, tunnels under SR46A and 436 and a trailhead near St. Johns at the border with Volusia County.  

Once the master plan is approved by the Seminole County Board of Commissioners, implementation will begin and soon enough you can continue exploring even more of beautiful Seminole County on foot and bike. In the meantime, get out and enjoy the award-winning Seminole county Trail system. It’s currently comprised of three showcase paved trails: Seminole Wekiva Trail , Cross Seminole Trail and the Kewannee Trail as well as one Showcase unpaved trail, the Flagler Trail. Much of the trail system follows the Florida National Scenic Trail

Will, a BWCF volunteer and our new trail correspondent, is a native of Central Florida. He enjoys the outdoors, and you might find him at the beach or on the trails, biking, blading, or at night viewing the stars through his telescope. 
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