New State Trail Segment and Bridge Opens in Dunnellon

May 16, 2014

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service celebrated the opening of a multi-use trail and bridge in Dunnellon today. This new trail and bridge brings the state within two miles of connecting the Withlacoochee State Trail to the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.

“People who enjoy Florida’s scenic beauty will appreciate this new trail and bridge in Dunnellon,” said DEP’s Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation, Katy Fenton. “Hikers, bicyclists and other trail users will find this trail connects them to local facilities. Florida’s greenways and trails provide recreational value, tourism and economic impact for our state and these local communities. Providing more access to state parks and outdoor recreation is a priority for the department.”

The 280-foot bridge spans the Withlacoochee River. The 12-foot wide, 2.4 mile paved trail features two trailheads; one in Citrus County and one in Marion County. The construction was made possible with funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program through the Florida Department of Transportation and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This project began in October 2012.

The Cross Florida Greenway is a key component of the Heart of Florida Loop, a multi-county regional greenway network, which is part of the larger statewide Florida Greenways and Trails Priority System. Connected trails provide recreational, economic, alternative transportation and quality of life benefits to local communities.

The Withlacoochee State Trail:

  • Comprises 46 miles, crossing Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties, making it the longest paved rail-trail in Florida;
  • Is flat and with many access points, provides cycling, running, walking, skating and unpaved equestrian trail opportunities;
  • Is a National Recreation Trail®, offering rich opportunities for viewing wildlife; and
  • Last year, welcomed nearly 382,000 visitors, with a direct economic impact of more than $16.6 million.

The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway:

  • Comprises 110 miles and 70,000 acres as it crosses Central Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River;
  • Occupies much of the land formerly known as the Cross Florida Ship, and later, Barge Canal projects;
  • Provides hiking, biking, equestrian and paddling trails, boat ramps, fishing spots, campgrounds, and a barrier-free Boundless Playground; and
  • Last year, welcomed nearly 999,000 visitors, with a direct economic impact of more than $46 million.

Rainbow Springs State Park:

  • Comprises 1,471 acres in Marion County;
  • Includes Rainbow Spring, the fourth largest spring in Florida;
  • Encompasses Rainbow River, which is popular for swimming, tubing, snorkeling and canoeing;
  • Offers a full-facility campground with overnight camping opportunities; and
  • Welcomed more than 269,000 visitors last year, with a direct economic impact of more than. $12.5 million.

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