Category Archives: Trail News

Info Table on the Trail Saturdays (Weather Permitting)

Starting November 4 and throughout the high season, FLT will be setting up our information table at the Ashton Trailhead (just west of McIntosh Road) on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon, weather permitting (check our social media for any changes).

Come visit us for information on trail developments, individual and business memberships, volunteer opportunities, and to shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Our new cycling jerseys are a big hit! (And a great gift!)

Gulf Coast Trail Update

Charles Hines from Trust for Public Land discusses the vision and progress on the Gulf Coast Trail in this video of a webinar with the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails. The Legacy Trail will form a part of the Gulf Coast Trail.


Florida Gulf Coast Trail Logo

The Florida Gulf Coast Trail has a new logo! The Trust for Public Land and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection hosted a logo contest to select this epic trail’s official logo. After tallying the votes, congratulations to Kelly Kure from Sarasota, FL for submitting the winning logo! This stunning great blue heron design reflects the natural beauty of Florida and will be featured across all 336 miles of the trail. Thank you to all who participated in this contest! Learn more…

Legacy Trail Memorial Mile Dedicated to Bruce Dillon

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.

Ringling Trail Complete Street Recognized as Project of the Year

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.


Bus + Bike + The Legacy Trail

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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:

Click here for more information on how to use the Sarasota County bus system. Click here for bus schedules and routes.


Bridge Over Deer Prairie Creek in North Port Now Open

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.

North Sarasota Multi-Modal Connector Renderings

FDOT and Sarasota County are currently developing designs for an overpass over I-75 connecting Lakewood Ranch with Cattleman Road near Nathan Benderson Park. The project, named the North Sarasota Multimodal Connector (NSMC), is progressing past the 60% phase toward 90% plans. The renderings above show the current design concept. The overpass will include multi-modal paths for cyclists and pedestrians. No start or completion date is currently scheduled.

New Video Describing The Legacy Trail

Check out this beautiful new video about the current state of the trail and its value to the community. Many thanks to Rich Tyson of the Sarasota Bradenton RE Group for producing the video, and also thanks to Louis Kosiba, FLT President, for his presentation on the video!

Progress on the Design of Legacy Trail Overpasses at Clark and Bee Ridge Roads

FDOT presented their current concept for the design of these overpasses to county commissioners at their December 13 meeting. The plans are expected to be complete by the end of 2022, with construction to begin in the Fall of 2023. Both overpass projects are expected to be completed by November 2024.

Some noteworthy information from the meeting:

  • The overpasses will be 12 feet wide and use the same construction method as used for the Laurel Rd. overpass. This type of construction uses reinforced earth on the approaches to the mid-span. Click here for details of this method.
  • The design of the Clark Rd. overpass is influenced by the need for compatibility with a future project to straighten the McIntosh Road intersection at Clark Road. There is currently no funding for straightening the McIntosh intersection, so it is unlikely this project will start any time soon.
  • When the McIntosh Road intersection is straightened, it will be necessary for trail users to cross McIntosh immediately after (or before) crossing the overpass. One conceptual plan suggested by Spencer Anderson, Sarasota County Public Works Director, would be to slightly raise McIntosh Road and have the trail go under it (see conceptual images in gallery above).