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  • Mission Miami: Getting More Places to Walk, Run or Bike

    The Supreme Court decision on March 10 reminded the rail-trail community of one critical thing: Despite the burgeoning popularity of active transportation in the U.S., it's up to all of us to use our voices to defend and promote the further development of walking and biking networks around the country. In Miami, Fla.—an international destination—active transportation is in great demand. And as the city continues to develop, it's the perfect time to seize the opportunity to build new walking...
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  • Florida Has Spoken! – Top 10 Trails in the Sunshine State

    When we asked Floridians to name their favorite trails in the state, two things became clear: they know their favorites, and they’re passionate about them. And who wouldn’t be, with the beautiful, flat terrain, and diverse plant life and fauna that can be seen and enjoyed every month of the year? To culminate our tribute to Florida this month, we are pleased to present this list of 10 top trails in Florida, chosen straight from the users who know them best. And may we add: While some...
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  • Endurance Run on Florida Rail-Trail Tests the World’s Best

    For the past six years, the Lake Butler-to-Palatka Trail has played host to the Iron Horse Endurance Race , an ultramarathon that spans 100 miles (with 100-km and 50-mile options) from Florahome to Palatka. On Feb. 15, 2014, 150 runners from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Mexico will “toe the line” in this test of iron wills. Here’s a brief glimpse of last year’s Feb. 9 event, courtesy of Race Director Chris Rodatz: The weather… It was a picture-perfect...
  • Florida Game-Changers Raise Bike Awareness, Community Pride

    Share the Road As RTC continues to highlight all things Florida trail-biking-walking-hiking-outdoor- friendly this month, we couldn’t do so without mentioning the interesting history of the Share the Road campaign . In 1999, due to efforts led by former Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) and Bike Florida President Linda Crider and many others, Florida became the first state in the Union to create a specialty plate dedicated to bike safety. After getting off to an enthusiastic start in 1992 by...
  • Kidical Mass: Training Wheels and Tots the Focus of Tallahassee Bike Crew

    "The bike movement has grown up, and now it has kids." These are the words of Shane MacRhodes, founder of Kidical Mass - a national program designed to "provide a safe environment for kids and their parents to learn and practice [bicycle] safety skills" while creating awareness of the growing number of cyclists-including youth-in local areas. Hence the tagline: kids are traffic too. The first ride took place in Eugene, Ore., in 2008, and today, more than 33 cities in the U.S. and Canada play host...
  • Five Top Florida Hikes for History

    As a " trailblazer ," I have long enjoyed the history, geography, ecosystems and wildlife that make Florida such a wonderful state for outdoor exploration. One of the first trails I began to explore actively is the Florida National Scenic Trail , a 1,000-mile walking and biking system that traverses the state and meanders through some of the most picturesque areas in the U.S. As time went by, I learned about the many other places in Florida that lay claim to countless trails and habitats: our award...
  • In Tallahassee, the (Bicycle) House that Scot Built

    It was Scot Benton's father who inspired him to found Bicycle House Tallahassee, a Florida nonprofit that's part bike repair shop and training center, part "build-a-bike" program, part community development organization, part trail cleanup group and part kitchen/overnight space for travelers on the "Southern Tier" route from San Diego, Calif., to Saint Augustine, Fla. "My father said, 'get out of the house...and open the door,'" says Benton, matter-of-factly. "I had a little money, and I just put...
  • Meet the Miami River Greenway

    A shout out to the Miami River Commission for providing RTC with this great first-person (first-trail) Q&A "with" the Miami River Greenway. This 10-mile scenic rail-trail-currently in development-is connecting the incredible neighborhoods, businesses and cultural attractions around the waterway and helping to transform Miami. Name and Specialty? I am the Miami River Greenway , a public pedestrian and bicycle trail along the historic Miami River. My trail is a "riverwalk" directly along the shoreline...
  • A Few Hundred Strong, African-American Community Aims to Become Florida's Next Trail Town

    There is an experience that is unique to the people driving cars along State Road 207 in Florida. Only they can make the sharp, abrupt drop into Armstrong - a settlement where moms walk babies and folks chat along the narrow town road that abruptly ends in woods. From the high-speed, four-lane highway to the serene woods the drivers go ...plop! It's a strange juxtaposition. Riders and walkers on the Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail enter and leave through these same woods. But trails code users...
  • The Word From Florida: 10 Great Things Happening in the Sunshine State

    With endless summers and long, flat stretches of pathways, picturesque terrain and unique wildlife, it's easy to see why so many people love Florida trails. And despite recognized challenges, Floridians around the state have been generating lots of sweat equity in the alternative transportation scene these days. They are working to get new projects completed and making the landscape safer and more convenient for the growing number of people who are choosing biking and walking as their mode of transportation...
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  • Florida's $50 Million a Savvy Investment in the State

    Florida's decision this week to set aside $50 million for the creation of a 275-mile cross-state trail is not only great news for those of us who love trails, biking, riding and hiking - it is also a tremendous shot in the arm for thousands of main street businesses and the state's economy. Long gone are the days when a "trail" was merely a quiet place to take a leisurely stroll, pedal your bike and appreciate chirping birds and swaying branches. Trails are now multi-million dollar economic engines...
  • Volunteers Needed for Florida Trail Campaign

    RTC is proud to have more than 25,000 supporters in the Sunshine State. Our Florida state office continues to work hard for you in promoting trails and active transportation. As you may know, we have spent many years protecting the Florida Greenways and Trails Program and ensuring that walking, bicycling and trails remain eligible for federal transportation dollars. Now, we are in the midst of our 60-day legislative session and trails are on the verge of a renaissance. Though it's too early to be...
  • Trail Across Old Tampa Bay a Leap Forward for Florida

    Florida has some work to do. When it comes to creating walkable, bikeable environments, the Sunshine State is consistently rated one of the most dangerous places in America for anyone outside of a car. But things are starting to change, thanks in part to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) more than 20 years of advocacy and coalition building in Florida , and a dedicated community of local planners and advocates. This month, work began on a multi-use pathway alongside the Courtney Campbell Causeway...
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  • Pinellas Trail the Centerpiece of Brian Smith's Legacy in Florida

    At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) 25th Anniversary celebration last October, we honored a group of men and women--the inaugural Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions --who have made a remarkable contribution to the rail-trail movement during the past quarter century. During the past few months we have been recapping the achievements of each champion. Today we recognize Brian Smith's enormous contribution to developing a network of trails and pathways in Florida. In his four decades in urban and...
  • From Razor Wire to Postcard Shot - New Bridge a Fine Feature in Gainesville, Fla.

    By Laura Stark There's no way to put this nicely: the Southwest 13th Street bridge was just plain ugly. But construction is currently under way to transform the Gainesville, Fla., pedestrian overpass--which once featured cage-like siding and razor wire on top- into a magnificent gateway feature for the city. The Depot Avenue Rail-Trail , which runs across the structure, will undoubtedly benefit from the project. "You didn't feel comfortable going on the old bridge," says Diane Gilreath, project manager...
 

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