The Legacy Trail
Sarasota County, Florida

Sunset Behind Dona Bay Bridge
Photo: Megan Donoghue
(click to enlarge)

Sunset From Dona Bay Bridge
Photo: Darryl Lang
Click to Enlarge

Bobcat Family on The Trail
Photo: Denise Arthur

Birthday Celebration for US 41 Bridge - 5 Years Old!

Farmers Market Director Phil Pagano (left) and Sarasota City
Commissioner Suzanne Atwel (in pink) visit the FLT
tent at the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market

It's a Gator on
The Trail!

Build It and They Will Come

A Video About The Legacy Trail Extension
by Joel Calabrese

Update on The Legacy Trail Bridge
Over Laurel Road - 11/8/16

Pedaled Pete Returns!


County Commits First $ To Trail Extension

To the delight of Legacy Trail supporters, County Commissioners committed $8.6 million to buy the land for a 7.5 mile trail extension. No previous funds had been identified. It was the first visible step in turning vision to reality for extending the existing 10.6 mile trail along an unused rail corridor into a multi-use paved path to Payne Park. Once built, the 175,000 annual users could quickly double as the trail reaches the urban core of the City of Sarasota.

The County Commissioners identified the funds during a March 29th day-long budget review session to align funds with established priorities for the County’s FY 2018 program. As Commissioner Hines noted, “The Legacy Trail is a big picture effort with broad county, public and private support. It is a priority, so we have to start building a pot of funds for it.” This was the second of six planned monthly budget meetings before the start of the new fiscal year which begins on October 1, 2017.  Read more …

by Roger Normand

County Commissioners Vote to Direct Staff to Pursue All Possible Funding Options
For the Trail Extension

At their 2/15/17 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) showed strong support for trying to find County funds to buy the right-of-way for The Legacy Trail Extension now, rather than wait for a voter referendum in two years.  They directed county staff to investigate all possible funding options and scenarios to get this done sooner rather than later.  County staff will report back to the Commissioners at their budget meeting this Friday 2/17/17.

In other good news, we learned that the Trust for Public Land has now signed a contract to buy the right-of-way land from CSX.  The current plan is for the land to be paid for in two phases.  The first half of the trail will cost $20M and the second half will cost $18M.  Completion of the sale is contingent upon Sarasota County finding funds to pay for the first half of the corridor by the end of 2017.

Thanks to everyone who wrote emails, made phone calls, and came to the BCC meeting to support The Legacy Trail Extension.  The Commissioners received over 300 personal emails and many phone calls supporting the Extension.  More than 100 supporters attended the meeting.  Your support helped to demonstrate the strong community support for the Commissioners to act now.

For a more detailed discussion of our view of The Legacy Trail financing situation and funding options, Click Here.

Click Here to see the potential economic benefits of the Trail Extension to Sarasota County.

Vote Online to Help Win $20K for Sarasota Parks

The National Recreation and Park Association is sponsoring a contest to give $20K to City and County Parks Departments.  Click here to register your vote for Sarasota County parks.   You are allowed to repeat your vote once every day.  Thanks!

2017 Tour de Parks Ride

Thanks to all of our participants, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and the weather, for making this year’s event a tremendous success! 


Professional Photos from Tour de Parks

Thanks to  for photographing our riders and volunteers at the Tour de Parks!  Links on her website have been separated by the time photos were taken. Check your start time / return time to see a “slideshow” to find your photo.

Check out this time-lapse video – dawn to last table put away in 8 minutes:

See you next year!


New Bike Repair Stations Now Installed

Four bike repair stations are being added to the Legacy Trail by Sarasota County. When all are installed, they’ll be at or near Osprey Junction Trailhead, Central Sarasota Parkway, Laurel Park and the Venice Train Depot. Thanks to the county for adding these enhancements to the trail! Photos by SRQ County Parks Specialist Megan Donoghue.

John League

Financing Bicycle Infrastructure: The Case of the Legacy Trail Extension

From the Blog of Doug Barnes

With a feeling of common purpose, I’m sitting amongst a sea of yellow in the first floor meeting room in Sarasota County Administration building in Florida. The call by the Friends of the Legacy Trail and the local bicycle organizations to attend the February 15, 2017 meeting is an overwhelming success. Not only are there about 100 supporters of the extension of the Legacy Trail in the room, but 300 sent emails and many others made phone calls. The call to action was issued because of the possibility of a 2 year delay in the financing of the Legacy Trail Extension to Sarasota.
Read more …

End of Existing Legacy Trail, Sarasota, Florida: Beginning of Extension
Photo by Doug Barnes


Trail Safety

Helmet Saves Woman’s Life






Around 10am on Monday, February 20, I went for a walk on the Legacy Trail. As I walked just north of Laurel Road, I noticed two women and a man sitting on the Trail with their bikes off to the side. I walked up to them and asked what was wrong and if I could help. One woman was sitting there with a bloody knee and looking dazed. They told me that the two women (sisters) had collided into each other while riding. Both women fell, but one hit her head on the pavement. She was disoriented and nauseous — the signs of a head injury.  Read more …

Darryl Lang

FLT Members Help Assemble First-Aid Kits at
Doctors Hospital 50th Anniversary

Hundreds of people showed up to break the world record in assembling first aid kits. We assembled over 4000 kits that will be distributed to nonprofits throughout Sarasota County.
Group picture shows (left to right), Darryl Lang, MJ Rouvet, Jerry Droll, Darlene Edelman, Mark Edelman and Mike Anderson.
Darryl Lang



Recent Articles

175,000 Strong

Are you one of the estimated 175,000 annual users of the Legacy Trail?  Probably so, if you are reading this.  Great news!  There were 55,000 more of you on the Legacy Trail in 2016 than the 120,000 reported in each of the last few years.  Many of you have asked us why the number of trail users has seemed to, well, stagnate when it appears there is a growing number of people enjoying the trail.

We wondered about that also, which prompted us to do a year long deep dive study of usage of The Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park.  Click here for details and results of this study.
Roger Normand

Importance of the Legacy Trail Bicycle Bridge in Venice, Florida

Click here to read Doug Barnes’ fascinating blog article about the Legacy Trail Bridge over the Venice Route 41 Bypass.

Signs Along the Trail

Click here
to see collages of signs put together by Steve Uglinica.


Coming Events

Sharky’s 15th Annual
Ride The Beaches

Sunday, April 30

Join over 1,000 cyclists on this fun ride that raised over $40,000 last year for three organizations:

  • Team Tony, a local Sarasota based foundation helping, hands-on those going though cancer treatment and their families.
  • Livestrong Foundation, helping people nationwide finding the resources and strength to fight cancer.
  • Friends of the Legacy Trail, dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of Sarasota County’s best cycling asset!

Riders will be treated to breakfast on the beach at Sharky’s. All rest stops will be stocked with water, sports drinks, fresh fruit, snacks and/or sandwiches. A delicious BBQ lunch at Sharky’s will be awaiting you upon your return.  Three ride levels are offered: 15, 35 and 70 miles.
To register go to Sharky’s On The Pier website by clicking HERE!

This well known fundraiser ride has grown in popularity and attendance attracting over 1000 cyclists each of the last 3 years! Be sure to sign up NOW to guarantee the ever popular t-shirt is INCLUDED in your registration for this year’s ride!  Ride the Beaches is the charitable foundation headed by Marc Alton, Executive Chef for Venice Pier Group and local cycling enthusiast.  He and Sharky’s on the Pier started this ride 15 years ago as a way to give back to the community and enhance cycling in our area.
Register Here.

Speakers Bureau

FLT volunteers give many presentations throughout the year to schools, homeowner associations, churches, businesses, clubs and others who would like to know more about The Legacy Trail.  Our lively presentation typically covers trail amenities, history, and the latest news on  efforts to extend the trail to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota.  The presentation can also be tailored to the unique interest and time available.  We arrive “fully equipped” at your location with laptop and projector, or we can load our presentation on your A/V equipment.

We are enthusiastic supporters of The Legacy Trail, and want to share our passion for this multi-use, non-motorized trail.  Help us build the broad community support for the next critical decision point – finding and committing the money necessary to acquire and build the trail extension.

Contact us to schedule a free presentation to your group.


Friends of The Legacy Trail, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Friends of The Legacy Trail