Even with hundreds of communities across America striving to build and improve their trails, greenways and bike path systems, Volusia County in east-central Florida continues to distinguish itself in its commitment to non-motorized infrastructure.
This coming Saturday, February 25, the residents of Volusia County will celebrate a significant milestone in their remarkable trail-building schedule with the opening of the first segment of the much-heralded East Central Regional Rail Trail.
The Volusia County Council invites all residents to join them in celebrating a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first 5.7-mile trail segment of what will eventually be one of the longest rail-trails in the state, covering 50 miles between Enterprise to Edgewater, in addition to a 10-mile leg through Brevard County to Titusville.
The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. at the trail entrance at the intersection of Perimeter Drive and Providence Boulevard, Deltona.
The Volusia Transportation Planning Organization will give bicycle helmets to the first 100 people.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their walking shoes, inline skates or bikes and take a 'maiden voyage' along the trail, which runs through wooded and rural areas to State Road 415 in Osteen. Parking will be available at Thornby Park and the Publix shopping plaza on the corner of DeBary Avenue and Providence Boulevard.
The trail segment is 12-feet wide and is accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, inline skaters and people with disabilities. Rest stops, with benches, are provided along the way.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) President Keith Laughlin and Florida State Director Ken Bryan will join a host of local elected officials at the ribbon cutting. RTC has enjoyed a close relationship with the trail proponents and planners of Volusia, and surrounding, counties, helping them realize their ambitions for an extensive trail system that is both an amenity for locals and a draw for visitors.
"This beautiful trail will provide recreational amenities while promoting a healthy lifestyle for county residents, and the economic value to our nature-based tourism initiative is unmatched," says County Council Representative Patricia Northey, a long-time proponent of trails. "I could not be more pleased with our new trail, and I know the communities it travels through, Deltona and Enterprise, have embraced it as well."
For more information about the East Central Regional Rail Trail, visit: volusia.org/trails/railtrail, or call the Volusia County Parks, Recreation and Culture Department at 386.736.5953.