The Pinellas Trail

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Florida Guide > Places to Visit

The Pinellas Trail

If you have ever been in the Gulf Coast area surrounding Treasure Island, Clearwater or St Petersburg you will have seen signs highlighting the Pinellas Trail. We often spend a few days at the Gulf Coast and I became so intrigued by always seeing the Trail when we were around Seminole I researched into it.

The Pinellas Trail was originally thought of in the 1980s by a man, whose son was killed while riding his bike He worked with the police and other advisory bodies as they all wanted a safe place to enjoy bicycle riding walking or jogging.

The first five-mile section of the Pinellas Trail opened in 1990 and this connected Taylor Park in Largo to Seminole Park in Seminole. The Trail proved so successful with far more people using it than anticipated that it was decided to extend it.

For safety reasons the Trail is only open during daylight hours and has quite a few rules that must be adhered to. Amongst these are:

No alcohol to be drunk
Pedestrians and handicapped have the right of way
One rule that I think is a good idea and would like to see it introduced in the UK is that cyclists are not permitted to wear headphones at any time. Also children under 16 must wear helmets.
Electric bicycles are not allowed on the Pinellas Trail.
No motorized vehicles are allowed
If you take a pet on a lead it must not be on a lead longer than six feet.

I had only ever seen the overpasses of the Trail in Seminole but apparently as well as overpasses there are also some underpasses. These are all situated at busy junctions to allow continuous travel on the Trail

The trail is now some thirty seven miles long and is used not only by tourists but also by the locals to get to work or to go shopping. I believe there are refreshments stops along the way but do not know how frequent they are or what they supply.

From what I have read it appears that the scenery is great with old oaks with moss hanging off them and waterways with a variety of land and sea birds also to be seen.

In the past we have only observed the trail but now I have done the research and realise what good has come out of such a tragic accident I think next time we go to the Gulf Coast we will travel along the Trail ourselves.

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