Gilchrist County, FL, Rail Corridor Turned Into Trail

Another former railroad corridor is being turned into a trail for the public to enjoy on the Nature Coast State Trail, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today.

The 9.33-mile corridor in Gilchrist County was sold by TPL to the state Office of Greenways & Trails for $2.5 million in money from the state’s Florida Forever funds. The corridor is officially known as the Trenton-Newberry Rail Trail project.

Greg Chelius, TPL Florida Director, said, “The scenic trail already is used by 140,000 people every year, and adding more than nine miles to it means it will be even more of a magnet for people who care about nature while benefiting rural economies by promoting eco-tourism.”TPL originally bought the property from the CSX railroad and negotiated the purchase with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of State Lands.

“This is a good example of how the public benefits from our partnership with CSX Railroad and public agencies,” said Chelius.

The trail extension goes across a relatively undeveloped portion of Gilchrist County, known as the Wacasassa Flats, and connects with the Nature Coast State Trail (NCST) in Dixie and Levy Counties. The NCST is a component of Florida’s Statewide Greenways and Trails System and was recently designated as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The trail extension begins at the Trenton Depot trailhead and ends about three miles from the town of Newberry

TPL is a national conservation organization which works to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, playgrounds, open space, and wilderness. Since it was created in 1972, TPL has protected more than 2.9 million acres in 47 states. TPL depends on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations.