The 12th Annual Tour de North Port, Sunday, October 22, 2023. A fundraiser bicycle ride sponsored by People for Trees, a non-profit native tree advocacy group formed in 1997. The ride offers a choice of three scenic routes (15, 35, or 65 miles) for riders to enjoy the natural settings of North Port featuring pine flatwoods, oak and palm canopies, and an “up-close-and-personal” opportunity to view the Myakkahatchee Creek. The Tour de North Port is NOT a race. Registration includes breakfast, catered lunch, fully-stocked rest stops with homemade snacks, SAG (Suppport And Gear), t-shirt, goodie bag. Doors open at 7am for breakfast and check-in. Group Starts begin at 8am from Imagine School, 2757 Sycamore St. North Port. Early packet-pickups will be available on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10am-12 noon at the “Taste of North Port Food and Fest” hosted by the Local Ladies Social Network, taking place at the North Port City Center Green, 4970 City Hall Blvd. For more information or to register online (until midnight, Friday, Oct. 20, $50), visit www.peoplefortrees.com. Registrations can also be done from 10am-12 noon at the Food Fest, Saturday, Oct. 21 ($50) or at the door the day of the event ($55, cash or credit card). Note: registrations for those who registered for last year’s event but was cancelled due to Hurricane Ian, will be fully honored for this year’s ride. Info: Contact Alice White (941) 468-2486.
On Friday June 16, a small ceremony was held on The Legacy Trail near Nokomis Riverview Park to dedicate a segment of the trail to be called the Bruce Dillon Memorial Mile. A plaque on the Legacy Trail Dona Bay bridge was unveiled to mark the north end of the one-mile segment.
Bruce Dillon, a founder and long-time member of Friends of The Legacy Trail, passed on November 24, 2020. Bruce was a lifelong resident of Sarasota County. He was dedicated to public service and programs aimed at improving the life of residents and visitors of Sarasota County. His participation and leadership in organizations such as Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Friends of The Legacy Trail, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (Bicycle-Pedestrian-Trails Committee), Charter Review Board of Sarasota County as well as his work as a volunteer with Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department established him as a man with the knowledge, commitment and ability to get things done.
In addition to his dedication to county-wide issues and organizations, Bruce worked hard for his local community with service on the Nokomis Area Civic Association, Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, Nokomis Revitalization Committee, and Friends of Nokomis Parks. His work and success are seen and known throughout the Nokomis community.
Sarasota, FL (April 26, 2023): The Ringling Trail Complete Street was recognized as the Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Florida Chapter during its annual conference in Jacksonville last week. Assistant City Engineer Dan Ohrenstein, project team co-lead along with Capital Projects Manager Camden Mills, accepted the award on behalf of the City of Sarasota.
“This was the first protected bicycle lane project in the Sarasota-Manatee region, coupled with lane repurposing, and community conversations occurred during the pandemic,” said Assistant City Engineer Dan Ohrenstein. “More cyclists are traveling between The Legacy Trail and downtown core since the protected bike lanes were installed along the Ringling Trail and that’s translating into economic growth,” said City Manager Marlon Brown.
Click here for more information about this project and the award.
Consider the Possibilities
Like the European train system, Sarasota County’s bus system (SCAT) can provide a natural extension and complement to traveling by bicycle. The bus system provides a number of connections to The Legacy Trail, and the buses can carry up to two bikes per bus. The chart below shows locations where bus routes connect directly to points on the trail.
4/20/23 Update from Miranda Lansdale with the County Transit Department: Our contracted provider for the OnDemand service has now added bicycle racks to 12 of their vehicles. The OnDemand service is a curb-to-curb rideshare, “on demand” transportation option available in 4 zones. The zones generally cover where our bus routes do not (1: Downtown Sarasota/Lido Key/Longboat Key, 2: Siesta Key, 3: Venice/Englewood, 4: North Port). The idea is that a passenger can enter a ride request that includes pickup and dropoff location within an OnDemand zone, and within 30 minutes a van will arrive to execute the request. When making the request, the individual can select the option for a van with a bicycle rack. Other passengers may be picked up or dropped off along the way. The cost is $2 per ride.
Some interesting possibilities are:
- Use the bus to get to and from the trail without having to cycle on roads, or having to load your bicycle into your car, or
- Use the bus system to plan a one-way trip on the trail. For example, with Bus Route 17 one could start at the Venice Train Depot, cycle to downtown Sarasota for lunch, and return on the bus to the Train Depot. or
- Suppose you have a flat tire. You could use the bus to get home or to a bike shop.
The following video shows how simple it is to load your bike onto the bus bike racks:
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday, March 28 at the Deer Prairie Creek south parking area. The new facility provides a southern access point to Deer Prairie Creek Preserve that is easily reached from Tamiami Trail. In addition to the new bridge, the site includes improved parking, a new kayak launch, a new fishing/observation pier, and a new picnic shelter. The bridge provides access to the natural-surface Alphabet Trail, which connects to the paved Legacy Trail North Port Connector, as shown in the map below. Click here for more information, pictures and a drone video of the bridge placement.
The steel truss bridge span over Deer Prairie Creek was installed on 11/3/22. Thanks to Brett Koppes for lthe amazing drone video of the installation. See map above for the location of the bridge. The new bridge allows access to the North Port Legacy Trail connector via the natural surface trail, now designated the Alphabet Trail (Sure beats walking over the weir!). Parking is available at the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve South Parking Area, which can be accessed from Tamiami Trail.
Thanks, and congratulations, to the City of Sarasota for successfully obtaining a Recreational Trails Program grant to build an extension of The Legacy Trail along the southern border of Payne Park, and along the northern side of Alderman Street. The grant is still subject to some environmental approvals, but these are not expected to be an issue.
This new trail segment will be 1,170 feet long and 14 feet wide. In addition to the trail, the project will include a shade shelter, benches, tables, bike rack, drinking fountain, lighting, informational signage, and landscaping. The total cost of the project is $897,000, of which $400,000 is the state grant award and $497,000 is the matching fund contributed by the city.
This extension, combined with the existing Brother Greenway Trail, is getting us closer to having a safe multiuse recreational trail connection from The Legacy Trail to Bayfront Park.
Joe and Terry and their two boys were recently spotted taking a break at the Ashton Trailhead while enjoying a warm, sunny February day along the Legacy Trail. “We’re snowbirds from Michigan and have been coming here for many years. We love it here in the winter – the sun, the many attractions, including the longer Legacy Trail. Tucker and Cody, get so excited when we pull out the bikes and put on their goggles.” Yeah, about the goggles? “We want to protect their eyes from the sun, pollen or other air borne debris.”
And then they were off down the trail, leading the way with paws up on the front edge of the basket, all dog smiles at the adventures that lie ahead.
The weekly FLT information table on the Legacy Trail is on hiatus for the off-season. We will be returning to the Ashton Trailhead on Saturdays starting in early October. In the interim, membership information, t-shirts, square feet, maps, and more is available on the FLT website.
Join other local bicycle/ trike riders with or without e-assist for a casual fun moonlight ride! This is an easy 8 mile ride Bay Street to Laurel and back, no cross streets. This is not a sponsored ride and your safety is your responsibility. After the 8 miles, you will have the option to extend the ride from Bay Street to Central Sarasota and back. The ride will be led by an experienced leader from Real Bikes. To join, riders must have a helmet, front and rear bike lights. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult rider. Meet at the Osprey Junction Trailhead parking lot, 939 E. Bay St., Osprey RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org please include Your Name, # of riders and contact phone #