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 SUN Trail Legislation looks to Connect Florida’s Trails→
Watch and listen: what does a Wilderness sound like at night?
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
It seems like a good premise for a movie: Under a full moon, on Friday the thirteenth, a group of people wander in the Wilderness. You could be a part of this movie on Friday, June 13 (8 pm), as Haven Cook of the U.S. Forest Service leads a hike into the Bradwell Bay Wilderness. It’s one of a series of events being held in the Apalachicola National Forest to celebrate 50 years of the Wilderness Act. Passed in 1964, the act designated certain protected areas as Wilderness.
So how is a Wilderness any different than any other protected land? We are surrounded by the Apalachicola National Forest, St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, Wildlife Management Areas, state parks, and large greenways. There are some waterways near here where you could spend hours and not see many signs of civilization. It’s already plenty wild around here, right? Continue reading Video: Bradwell Bay Wilderness Hike- Night and Day→
I fell in love with the idea the first time I heard of it, this walk along the land surrounding the Apalachicola River. I was standing on a sandbar just north of Alum Bluff. After a day of kayaking the river, we set up camp and got to socializing. Doug Alderson told me of this thought of his, a hike taking about seven days, from the top of the river to the bottom. You can see how the river changes as you paddle, from tall bluffs in the north on down to the marshy delta. We would be in those systems as opposed to passing by them on the water.