Welcome to Part 10 (of 10) of Roaming the Red Hills, which originally aired on the April 14 episode of WFSU’s Local Routes. Through ten 3-minute videos, we’ll explore the natural soul of the Red Hills of Florida and Georgia, from the pine uplands down to its rivers, lakes, and farms. Thanks to Tracy Horenbein for creating original compositions for this video series. The series is narrated by Jim McMurtry.
“First impressions put aside, I soon began to appreciate that Jefferson County was- and for the most part continues to be- a beautiful environment.”
-Dr. Flossie Byrd, Echoes of a Quieter Time
Disappointed at being uprooted from Hanes City, Florida, the Byrd siblings soon discovered Lake Miccosukee, Ward Creek, and forests in which to play. Those Monticello woods and waterways fed them with ducks, geese, quail, wild turkey, and, as we see in the video, coot that would “fall off the bone”. In her book, Echoes of a Quieter Time, Flossie Byrd fondly remembers that “A number of the women were excellent cooks who could prepare ‘coons ‘n possums’ that were a ‘gourmet’s delight.'” (Page 86) It was an environment that entertained and fed Dr. Byrd and her sixteen siblings after the relocation of the original seven in 1940. Continue reading →
The state of Florida is looking at existing trails, abandoned railways, and local, state, and federally owned lands with the goal of creating an ever expanding system of regional trails. Under recent legislation, these will be combined into the newly-legislated, statewide SUN Trail system. WFSU producer Rob Diaz de Villegas, who was appointed to the Florida Greenways and Trails Council in 2013, looks at what recent developments mean for local trail users.
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
A couple of years ago, we had a cycling EcoAdventure to preview the Capital City to the Sea Trail, on which work is currently being done in Tallahassee. Existing paved “multi-use” trails like the St. Marks Trail and Trout Pond Trail (in the Apalachicola National Forest) would be connected to each other and to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs, and various other points in Wakulla and Leon Counties. The thinking is that longer trails connect more communities, increasing economic opportunities and property values along their corridors. Within the next decade or so, a Panacea resident should be able to bike to St. Marks or Tallahassee without slowing traffic on Highway 98 or Crawfordville Highway. Continue reading →
Video: Cycling the Capital City to the Sea Trail. Project managers Jon Sewell and Jack Kostrzewa show us the highlights of the planned 120 mile loop between Tallahassee and the coast.
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
Cyclists round the bend at the Trout Pond Trailhead. They regard the two mile trail, which terminates at a quiet lake with camping facilities, as a hidden treasure. Over the next decade, it will become part of a 120 mile network of multi-use trails connecting Tallahassee with the coast.
I’ve often described our EcoAdventures as a glimpse of unpaved Florida, so this video is somewhat of an anomaly. The Capital City to the Sea Trail is a twelve foot wide paved “multi-use” trail that will connect towns and outdoor destinations in Leon and Wakulla County. Pedestrians can walk or run it, and its width means that slower cyclists (such as children or me when I finally get a bike) can share the space with faster bikes. As you see in the video above, two cyclists going one way can pass two cyclists going the opposite way. It’s off of the main road, so it’s a safer way to get to the coast than to ride on the highway. Or it will be, anyway. Most of the trail has yet to be built. Continue reading →