Category Archives: Trail News

New Sponsorship Program for Trail Amenities

Want to support the trail and be recognized with your name, or your business name, on one of the trail amenities. Sarasota County, in cooperation with Friends of The Legacy Trail, has just launched a new program that allows you to sponsor many types of trail amenities, including stop stations, shelters, benches, playgrounds, and more.  Check out this brochure for more details and sponsorship rates.

Info Table on the Trail Saturdays (weather Permitting)

The Info Tables Are Taking a Break for the Summer. See you in the Fall!

The seasonal Friends of The Legacy Trail information table is moving from its usual Bay Street location to the Ashton Street trailhead on the Legacy Trail at 4301 Ashton Street, about a block west of McIntosh Road. The table is open on most Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Parking is available at the trailhead and at the 360 Church on the east side of the Legacy Trail. We’ve just received a fresh batch of caps and t-shirts for sale. You’ll also find information on trail development, FLT memberships, FLT’s square foot campaign, and more. Stop by and see us!

Safety Improved at Legacy Trail Road Crossings

Sarasota County, as of 2/9/22, has made a change to the HAWK signal light sequence that significantly improves safety at intersections using this type of signal. This change was recommended by FLT and is supported by recommendations of the National Association of City Traffic Officials (NACTO).

Previously, vehicles were informed they could proceed cautiously with a flashing red light while trail users were still viewing a countdown of time remaining to cross the intersection. This was contrary to typical intersections, where countdown timers convey to pedestrians or cyclists that they have the right of way. Given the speed of cyclists, a cyclists could believe he had plenty of time to cross, while a driver believed they could go forward.

Based largely on recommendations and research performed by FLT, the county has now changed these signals to “maintain the solid red indication for motorists throughout the full bicycle clearance interval”, as recommended by the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. With this change, these intersections become consistent with typical intersections, where pedestrians or cyclists have the right of way during the full countdown.

This change currently affects the crossings at Sawyer Loop Rd., Proctor Rd., and Webber St. When Section 3 of the Trail opens on March 3rd, the signal at Bahia Vista St. will also include this modification. Crossing signals at Beneva Rd. and Tuttle Ave. will be standard red lights.

We wish to thank the Sarasota County commissioners and staff for following through with this recommendation. This change will make the Legacy Trail safer for all.

FLT Donates $250,000 to County for Legacy Trail Improvements

Pictured from left to right: Nichole Rissler, Head of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, Louis Kosiba, President of FLT, and FLT Board Members Janine Jacobs, Michelle Stanley, Rita Miotti, Carla Martin, and Steve Martin.

Friends of The Legacy Trail presented a check for $250,000 to the county at the 1/25/22 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. Of this amount, $200,000 is from regular donations to FLT, including $100,000 from the Square Foot Campaign.  This money will be used as part of a matching fund for a grant application to build parallel walking paths on sections of the trail. An additional $50,000 was a donation from Dr. Herbert Silverstein to fund a rest stop shelter on the trail extension. Thank you, Dr. Silverstein! And a big Thank You to all of our donors who have helped to make projects like this possible!

Bridge Installation Videos

The videos below show the installation of the prefabricated bridges over Phillippi Creek and over a canal just west of Beneva Rd. According to Brett, the canal bridge was installed as a single span of 75 feet, whereas the 150-foot-span Phillippi Creek bridge was assembled mid-air from two 75-foot sections before being laid to rest. The crews worked past sunset to secure the bridge. Additional video showing the bridge in place was obtained the next morning. Thanks again to Brett Koppes, “The Sarasota Drone Guy”, for the drone video.

Installation of the Phillippi Creek Bridge in two sections.

Installation of single span over canal west of Beneva.

Segments 1 and 2 of the North Extension Are Now Open!!

Official opening of Segments 1 and 2. From left to right: Nicole Rissler, Commissioner Michael Moran, County Commission Chair Alan Maio, Commissioner Christian Ziegler, Commissioner Ron Cutsinger and County Administrator Jonathan Lewis.Photo: From Sarasota County video.

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.

New Connector to Patriots Park in Nokomis

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.)

Entrance to connector (before landscaping).
Looking east toward the Legacy Trail.

Segment 1 of the North Extension Now Open!!

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
Campaigning Everywhere
Two of Our Biggest Supporters
Thank You Sarasota County
Election Day
We Won!!
Celebrating Purchase of Rail Corridor
Groundbreaking for the North Extension
Trail Clearing Begins
Segment 2 Clearing
Plaque at South Creek Rest Stop
Progress! Trail clearing proceeding on
Segment 2 of the extension.
Construction Begins
Paving Begins on Segment 1
New kiosk, palm trees, and pavement
at Wilkinson Ave. Intersection
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Map of Newly Opened Segments