The Pinellas Trail
The Pinellas Trail, formally named the Fred Marquis Trail, is the result of the community coming together to solve two problems. On the one hand, Pinellas County residents and visitors were in need of a safe place to bike, walk, etc. On the other hand, the county had over 30 miles of abandoned rail on its hands.
In 1990, the first 5-mile section of the Pinellas Trail opened, and it was adopted as a place to exercise immediately by the community, even more than anyone expected. The citizens passed a new tax called Penny for Pinellas, and began expanding the trail. They eventually connected the county from north to south, and the trail is now 47 miles long.
According to PinellasCounty.org, an average of 70,000 persons use the trail each month. Aric and I are some of those persons, since we're lucky enough to live less than 2 blocks from the trail. We have ridden every mile of the trail - although not all at once! A trip down the Pinellas County Trail means enjoying lush foliage, parks, waterfront, and animal life. We see turtles, bunnies, and hawks regularly. Occasionally, we spy deer or snakes. Once, we saw a coyote. It's amazing how immersed in nature you can feel so close to traffic, people, and cities.
There are more densely populated areas of the trail, too. For example, here in Tarpon Springs or nearby in Dunedin there are restaurants and bars on or near the trail. We, of course, take advantage of these aspects of the trail as well.
We highly suggest bringing or renting bikes and going for a ride!
For more information, visit https://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/.