For background information, see BikeWalkLee's earlier blog posts on the topic:
- 9/19/17: Updated Action Alert: Support Seminole Gulf Railroad corridor trail between Bonita Springs and Estero--Ask State to restore trail to Priority Florida Greenways and Trails Map
Executive Summary: 164th meeting of the Estero Council of Community Leaders
SUN TRAIL/ RAIL CORRIDOR - Nick Batos and Peter O’Flynn
The Florida SUNTrail Path Network was the subject of the first joint meeting between the Estero and Bonita Springs councils. This statewide system has been designed with regional connectors from coast to coast and throughout the state. The Florida legislature has committed about $100 million to this system of bike and walking trails. The Gulf Coast connector runs from St. Petersburg to Naples. The Seminole Gulf Railway right of way could be used to connect Estero to this massive trail system.
“The councils collaboratively decided this should be a priority,” stated Bonita Councilman Peter O’Flynn. However, the state has now made the Coastal Loop, which runs along Fort Myers Beach down to the Bonita Beach area, the main Gulf Coast connector. The Bonita-Estero Trail, which runs along the rail corridor through Estero, has been downgraded from a priority trail to an “opportunity trail.”The Coastal Loop bypasses Estero.
The ECCL is asking its members to send a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protections’s Office of Greenways and Trails urging the state to restore the Bonita-Estero Trail to priority status. More information and a sample letter may be found here.