With the opening of Segment 2, we now have a continuous 19.6-mile trail extending from Shamrock Park in the south to Bahia Vista Street in the north. The southern portion includes 3.9 miles of the mainland side of the Venetian Waterway Park. See map for the full picture.
The last segment of the extension, shown in green above, is expected to open around the beginning of December. This section will extend the trail another 2.8 miles to Payne Park and Fruitville Road.
There is now a short connector path between Patriots Park in Nokomis and The Legacy Trail. Previously, one had to take a much longer circuitous route on the sidewalk along Tamiami Trail highway to get to the trail.
This beautiful park is an ideal place to begin and end your trip. There is parking, restrooms, and even a restaurant and a hotel.
(Note: There is now a building where the field is shown on the south side of the connector.)
Segment 1 of the Legacy Trail North Extension from Proctor Road to Bahia Vista is now open to the public!! In addition, the county has also opened sections of Segment 2 from Culverhouse Nature Park to Sawyer Loop Road, and from Proctor Road to just north of Ashton Road.
Since Friends of The Legacy Trail first proposed extending The Trail into downtown Sarasota in 2013, it has been a long, hard, campaign with many ups and downs along the way. The opening of Segment 1 represents a very significant milestone for our community and all who have supported and worked for the Extension.
Here are a few scenes showing how we got here:
FLT Proposes Trail Extension to County Commissioners
Photo from Sarasoto News Leader Oct. 11, 2013
Hundreds of Information Tables
Meetings with County Commissioners
New Sign and Board Members
FLT Board Members Celebrate Purchase of First 2-Mile Rail Segment
FLT Speakers Bureau Gave Many Presentations to Local Organizations
Two of Our Biggest Supporters
Thank You Sarasota County
Celebrating Purchase of Rail Corridor
Groundbreaking for the North Extension
Trail Clearing Begins
Segment 2 Clearing
Progress! Trail clearing proceeding on Segment 2 of the extension.
Paving Begins on Segment 1
New kiosk, palm trees, and pavement at Wilkinson Ave. Intersection
Groundbreaking for the paved section of the North Port Legacy Trail Connector was held this morning, Monday, June 6. FLT was represented at the event by (left) Sharon Donovan (FLT Newsletter Editor & NP Representative), (center) Louis Kosiba (FLT President), and (right) Rita Miotti (FLT vice-President).
FLT was thanked by everyone who spoke, including Nicole Rissler (Sarasota County Parks Department) and County Commissioners Alan Maio and Ron Cutsinger. It was a very positive event, which is what we all need these days!
A significant step was taken today (3/5/21) as the asphalt paving was begun on Segment 1 of the trail extension. Paving started at Weber St. this morning and is progressing north towards Bahia Vista Blvd. This picture was taken around noon, so you can see that they are making good progress!
The new protected bike lanes on each side of Ringling Blvd will provide a safe bicycle route from the northern end of The Legacy Trail near Payne park to central downtown Sarasota near the location of the Saturday Farmers Market! The bike lanes will go from Lime Ave. to S. Pineapple Ave. Many thanks to the Sarasota city commissioners for approving this project and to the city staff for their diligent and thorough work to make this happen.
An online survey on the proposal gathered 700 responses, 95% of which supported redesigning Ringling to better accommodate bikes. Dan Ohrenstein, Assistant City Engineer, stated “I would challenge anyone to find an issue in society today that has that much positivity.”
The work is expected to cost $900,000 for design and construction, and to be completed by the end of this year, in time for the opening of The Legacy Trail. A more permanent landscaped design will be considered at a later time.
A historic Ringling train car has been moved into place at the Venice Train Depot today. With the help of numerous donors, the Venice Area Historical Society brought the retired circus train car to the Train Depot campus and is donating it to Sarasota County for viewing by the public.
Additional pictures by Mike Soltis and the Venice Historical Society:
It is incredibly exciting to see the transformation of an abandoned rail corridor into the extension of the Legacy Trail. These recent photos taken at trail end by Culverhouse Nature Park show the contractor has stripped the overgrown vegetation within the construction footprint, and redefined the shape, depth and pitch of the drainage ditch of both sides of the rail bed. Then this huge, articulated mulcher makes quick work of shredding the vegetation in place.