How One RTC Grant Will Unlock Florida's Latest Long Distance Rail-Trail

Posted 09/05/14 by Ken Bryan in Building Trails

Photo © B. Kraig McLane

It's not easy, getting rail-trails built.

All over America, advocates, business people and community leaders are working tirelessly to provide safe pathways for biking and walking where they live.

RTC's job is to help them. We do this in a number of ways: by providing technical assistance, clearing funding and process hurdles, mobilizing local and state support and fighting for policies that support these local efforts.

And sometimes we do it by just handing over some cold, hard cash! It was our great pleasure recently to provide some funding to enable trail advocates in Florida to buy a section of a disused rail corridor and build new miles of rail-trail in their community.

The Palatka Trail, through Putnam County in the northern part of the state, is part of a grand effort to connect a trail system between St. Augustine and Lake City. Our latest Project Support Grant—funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation—is making possible the short extension of the Palatka Rail Trail west to U.S. 17.

By itself, it is only a short section of trail. But it is a significant link in the bigger effort, driven by Putnam County, the City of Palatka and Putnam Blueways and Trails, to connect to the Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail to the west and to the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail to the east. And what a network that would be!

Now if only I had one of those giant checks...

If you live in the region and want to get involved with this terrific local trail building effort, contact Putnam Blueways and Trails at

Or learn more about RTC's effort to support trail building in Florida at

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