Saturday, February 18, 2012

Biking Florida's Legacy Trail

Two years ago, we biked the Legacy Trail, which is a lovely, paved rail-trail. Today I biked the extension they've added to connect it to the Venetian Waterway Trail in Venice, Florida.

 The first passenger coach ran on the brand new Seaboard Air Line Railway from Sarasota to Venice on November 12, 1911, and on April 30, 1971, the last passenger train arrived in Venice. Limited freight service continued until January 1992. Then in 2004, Sarasota County the county purchased 12 miles of the scenic CSX railroad corridor. It is paved and is shrouded on both sides by lush vegetation.

The Legacy Trail hosts 15 areas to stop and rest, including 7 trailheads which offer access points with free parking. The trailheads are located at Potter Park in Sarasota, Bay Street Park and Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Laurel Park in Laurel, Nokomis Park in Nokomis, Patriots Park and the historic Venice Train Depot in Venice. In addition to the trailheads, users will find eight rest station areas that offer restroom faculties and places to sit and relax.

Near the access from Oscar Scherer Park, you'll find this old trestle alongside the trail's bridge...

UPDATE:  Two years after first biking the Legacy Trail, I returned and biked it again and found it to be 5 miles or so longer thanks to 2 bridges over waterways and a massive and beautiful bridge over US Route 41, so that the trail now connects with the Venetian Waterway Trail in Venice.  Here's my post for that trail.

Here's a view of the bridge over the highway...

....and here's what it looks like as you bike up the long incline...

County's Legacy Trail site

Trail map


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