Registration Now Open!

21, 35 and 62-Mile Scenic and Fun Rides – 
12 Beautiful Parks!

You can also register by mail by printing the Tour de Parks Brochure
and mailing the completed form along with your check.



(Note: charges a service fee of approximately $4.00 for a $45 registration if you are not a member of  The service charge will be slightly higher for the $50 and $55 entry fees.)

Route Maps

Route maps are for the 2019 ride.   Route maps for the 2020 ride will be put here when they become available.
Click Here for Route Maps and Cue Sheets for 2019 ride.


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The Legacy Connection
January 2020

🎉Happy New Year! 🎉
Bright Futures on a Bicycle

Bicycling brings many wonderful experiences to our lives: the pleasure of being outdoors, exercising, meeting friends, commuting without a car, and spending time with family. The Legacy Trail is one place where all of this can happen. In the photos below, Friends of The Legacy Trail volunteers teach the future generation of cyclists about bicycle safety during a recent helmet fitting and giveaway. Clockwise from top left: Volunteer Janine Jacobs prepares a helmet for fitting; Juliana Doyle, 8, proudly wearing her new helmet; Friends of the Legacy Trail Board Director Michelle Stanley explains helmet fitting to Zoe Rapalo, 10; and Nelson Rapalo, 12, demonstrates the perfect helmet fitting.     
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Meet Carolyn Eastwood
Sarasota County’s Capital Projects Director

By Roger Normand, Vice President, Friends of The Legacy Trail
How hard can it be to convert an abandoned rail corridor into a multi-use trail? It's complicated! But Carolyn Eastwood is making it happen behind the scenes. 

We are very fortunate to have Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources under the able leadership of Director Nicole Rissler and Trails Division Manager Jon Robinson who are defining the vision of the Legacy Trail extension with ample opportunity for public input. 
But who handles those pesky details like assembling contract proposals, evaluating proposals, managing the design and construction firms, estimating, permitting, bidding, inspection, surveying, and complying with environmental issues and regulations across jurisdictions? What about county-wide and city-wide coordination, and working with the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which will be constructing the trail overpasses at Clark and Bee Ridge using Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail program funds?
Staying on top of all this is the job of the county’s Capital Projects under Director Carolyn Eastwood. Capital Projects was established in 2008 and manages about 125 facilities, utilities, transportation, and stormwater projects worth $300 million, across the county. The Legacy Trail extension, including the connector to North Port, is one of its largest construction projects. 
According to Carolyn, the biggest challenges are meeting expectations for time and cost effectiveness, and coordinating across the many stakeholders. “We want to build the trail for current needs, but be flexible enough to accommodate future expansion opportunities,” she explained.
The North Port connector adds additional complications, including coordination with Southwest Florida Water Management District, which owns the Schewe Ranch section of the route, and the engineering challenge of building a stable base for the trail. Capital Projects is also managing the improvements at Osprey Junction Trailhead, Culverhouse Nature Park, and Scherer-Thaxton Preserve, mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter.
Expectations are to complete the Legacy Trail extension design process in March, adopt final plans, and begin construction later this year. The first signs of construction will include vegetation clearing, staging materials, and excavating for underground utilities and enabling proper drainage. Partial funding for the Clark Road and Bee Ridge Road overpasses are in the FDOT fiscal year 2022-2023 Final Tentative Work Program, so traffic control measures at these very busy intersections will likely be initially required.
“The Legacy Trail extension is a major community-driven project with overwhelming public support that will provide enormous quality of life benefits for residents and visitors,” said Carolyn. “We want everyone to be proud of the results.”
More Water Fountains, Restrooms on the Way

By Roger Normand, Vice President, Friends of The Legacy Trail
Finding water fountains and “real” bathrooms, especially along the northern portion of the Legacy Trail, will be getting much easier! At a recent public meeting, Nicole Rissler, director of Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources, described the new amenities coming to the Legacy Trail: a water fountain, a three-stall restroom within Culverhouse Nature Park, and a two-stall restroom at Osprey Junction Trailhead. The site-built restrooms, with flushing toilets, should be large enough to bring in your bicycle and will replace the temporary porta potties at both locations. The Culverhouse fountain and restroom will be located by the garden area inside the park to serve trail users and gardeners, while the Osprey Junction restroom will be visible from the trail and close to the existing water fountain. Construction, including parking improvements, is expected to begin this spring and be completed by the end of 2020. The maps below provide an overview of these areas.
The county will also be adding a water fountain, a two-stall restroom, and parking improvements at the Scherer Thaxton Preserve along Honore Avenue in Nokomis. The facilities will be located at the far end of the parking area near the lake. This part of Honore parallels the Legacy Trail; it’s a popular route for faster cyclists and those wanting to be on the Legacy Trail as part of a loop ride.

Funding for these improvements are from a mix of Sarasota County sources that do not include Legacy Trail referendum funds. 
Perhaps you’ve noticed new water fountains along the Legacy Trail at the Mission Valley Rest Stop (see photo below) and another south of Central Sarasota Parkway. They were provided by new housing developments Bellacina at Casey Key and Legacy Estates in exchange for exclusive entry onto the Legacy Trail for those community residents. The water fountains will be turned on in the near future as the construction of nearby homes is completed.
Electric Bikes Are Now Allowed on the Legacy Trail

Sarasota County had been considering the use of electric-assist bicycles, or e-bikes, for several years, coinciding with an uptick in their popularity. More and more people can be seen riding e-bikes in the area. Although they are not without controversy, mainly because of safety concerns associated with their speed, and because they are considered a form of motorized recreation, the National Park Service recently changed its policy to allow e-bikes in national parks, with some exceptions, and on designated roads and trails only. Following national trends, Sarasota County commissioners approved a resolution on November 19 to allow e-bikes on the Legacy Trail.  

There are currently three classes of e-bikes: Class 1 is a bicycle with a motor that engages only when the user is pedaling and operates up to a speed of 20 mph, Class 2 is a bicycle with a throttle-assisted motor that does not require pedaling and operates up to a speed of 20 mph, and Class 3 is a bicycle with a motor that engages only when the user is pedaling and operates up to a speed of 28 mph. They can be a good commuting alternative, to help reduce a commuter's carbon footprint, and they can be easier to use for riders who need a little help with their pedal power, enabling them to go farther and see more.

Prior to adopting the resolution, the issue was discussed with and supported by two citizen advisory committees, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, and Friends of The Legacy Trail. E-bike users are required to follow the same 15-mile-per-hour speed limit as all other users on the trail. Regular bike users cannot go faster than 15 miles per hour either. We encourage all users of the trail to follow the rules and respect your fellow trail users. The county works with FLT and our Bicycle Ambassador program to help educate trail users. The county also works with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on enforcement of the regulations.
Legacy Trail a Top Florida Trail
The Legacy Trail lands in the #5 spot in the "Top 10 Trails in the Sunshine State." Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that works with communities to preserve unused rail corridors by transforming them into rail trails, developed the list by surveying Florida trail users.
Questions About North Port Connector
We have received several questions about the connector to North Port, so we have created a Q & A on our website. Please stay in touch with us via this newsletter or through social media for updates. If you have any further questions, please fill out the contact form on our website.
Registration Now Open!
😃 Put a Smile on Someone's Face  😃
Volunteer to Become a Pedicab Pedaler
Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead, in partnership with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources, will start offering pedicab rides on the Legacy Trail on January 30, 2020. Pedicab volunteers are needed. For more information, contact Chuck Butterfield, (941) 408-3979,, or complete the volunteer interest form at You can also reach the form by clicking on the photo above.
Volunteers Needed for Information Table!
Friends of The Legacy Trail is looking for volunteers to help us at our trail information table at the intersection of the Legacy Trail and Bay Street on Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. or whenever you can make it. Please contact us at for more information. 
Stay in the Know!

A reminder that Sarasota County has a designated web page for Legacy Trail updates. You can sign up there to receive periodic email announcements.

From the President

By Louis Kosiba
Friends of The Legacy Trail

Happy New Year! Your team at Friends of The Legacy Trail wishes you a happy and healthy 2020. And, whether you ride or hike or skate or run (or walk your dog), we wish you many enjoyable hours on the trail in the coming year.

2020 is shaping up to be a seminal year for the trail. The planning, engineering, and design work will be completed. Construction is planned to start by mid-year. All surface construction (not including the overpasses at Clark and Bee Ridge roads) might be completed by the end of 2022. Work on those overpasses is slated to begin in fiscal year 2023 (that is, after July 2022). We have a lot to look forward to.

FLT takes seriously the comments you send us through our website. In the coming year, we will work to improve safety on the trail, particularly at the intersection of McIntosh Road and Palmer Ranch Parkway. We are reviewing ways to improve the current trail and assist the county staff in any way we can as new trail construction begins. We are also working to develop connectors to the main trail. The Legacy Trail is something like the trunk of a tree with its branches stretching out to the City of North Port, schools, parks, and other recreational venues.

One focus has been to link the Legacy Trail to Nathan Benderson Park through the Meadows community. At its November 15, 2019, board meeting, the Meadows Community Association passed an important resolution stating, in part, that its board of directors agreed "to pursue, in conjunction with the Legacy Trail community volunteer and supporting agencies, the feasibility of constructing a bicycle/walking trail in the Meadows Community Association and linking it to the Legacy Trail as well as to Nathan Benderson Park." A heartfelt thank you to that board and the residents of the Meadows for their vision and commitment to promote the ambiance and vitality of their community. 

On another note, we recently completed our new "Friends of the Legacy Trail" logo after using our "Extend the Legacy Trail" logo for some time in the lead-up to the bond referendum that passed in 2018. The new logo has been emblazoned on our new t-shirts that are now available for sale online and at our info tables. We may even develop baseball caps with our new logo as well. (I always seem to lose mine and could use a fresh supply.)

Finally, instead of holding several monthly membership meetings, we have decided to try something new. We are going to hold one membership meeting in the early part of this year, and we are planning to have it at a restaurant or banquet facility. This way, we hope to concentrate everyone's efforts, and include a food and drink option as well. Date and location to be announced soon.

With that, let’s embrace the coming year and resolve to use and support the trail we so love. 

Season is in full swing! We are loving the cooler weather. Trail use is most definitely picking up, so make sure you’re aware, kind, and courteous to all of the different kinds of trail users!

One thing we love about the trail is how different it looks at different times of the year. When you’re on the trail next time, make sure you stop and check out what’s blooming! 
On the trail during this time of year you can find (clockwise from top left) pine-hyacinth (Clematis baldwinii), which is endemic to Florida (found nowhere else in the world), moonflower (Ipomoea alba), and oceanblue morning glory (Ipomoea indica). All photos courtesy of Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Trail Specialist Sam Wright. Enjoy!
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2020 Giving Challenge Coming Up
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County's 2020 Giving Challenge will take place on April 28-29, 2020! The Giving Challenge is an exciting 24-hour giving event supporting local nonprofits, such as Friends of The Legacy Trail! Stay tuned for more details.
New T-Shirts
Our new Friends of The Legacy Trail t-shirts are in! They will be available at our public tables and through our website. We'll have short-sleeves, long-sleeves, v-necks, crew-necks, and four different bright colors (colors other than yellow are limited).

Get Your Own Square Foot on the Trail!
Donate to Our Square-Foot Campaign!
Total Amount Raised to Date: $78,143
Total Donations to Date: 657 
All Donations Improve
the Legacy Trail Extension

Copyright © 2020 Friends of The Legacy Trail. All rights reserved.
Friends of The Legacy Trail is a 501(c)(3). Our mission is to support, promote, enhance, and protect the Legacy Trail and its trail connectors, now and for future generations.

This newsletter is edited by Sharon Donovan.

Our mailing address is:
Friends of The Legacy Trail
P.O. Box 792
Osprey, FL 34229

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The FAVORED Legacy Trail extension to North Port is the northerly paved option that parallels I75 and turns south to West Price Blvd. The other 2 options are natural surfaces, according to Natural Resources Director Nicole Rissler.        Click map to enlarge

Trail conditions have improved in Deer Prairie (above) and Carlton Reserve

Photo by Jim Cranston

SCORR's latest Boldly Go map with SOTR and Rhindoculus loops
Adobe Acrobat Document 404.8 KB

Check out Steve Christian's latest proposal for the Churchill tract.

Get Updates on current and proposed single track biking in the Carlton and connecting lands.

Click Bike Venice Florida for great regional biking information!


SCORR's "Guest Rider Program" was in session today at the Carlton Reserve. Brooke Langston, Sarasota County Natural Parks, Preserves and Trails supervisor accompanied Linda Kaeslin Christian and I on a ride that included the Red Trail, South Powerline, the Jordyn Parcel and a taste of Boldlygo.



BIKE VENICE FLORIDA website has a wealth of information regarding area biking and plans for the future, including the North Port Connector that would link the Carlton to Myakkahatchee Creek Preserve and other adjacent natural lands.

SCORR (Sarasota County Off Road Riders) developed the Boldly Go trail in the Carlton and has more information on their Facebook page and website



Also check Sarasota County calendar for scheduled rides. Use the pull down menu and choose NATURE WALKS



Information & Website


Park Naturalist:

Debbie Blanco



1. Type in your location,

2. Click map marker

3. Click calculate

4. Expand map + 


Sarasota County

Field Guide

to Conservation Lands

(download 64pp. PDF)

Field Guide.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.8 MB

Counter set 03/24/2015

Friends of the Carlton

is a chapter of  FOSCP   

not for profit corp.