By Susan Hardee Steger
September 24, 2019
During a late afternoon ribbon cutting ceremony, city and county officials, Amelia Island Trail representatives and volunteers and supporters gathered to officially open the Amelia River To Sea Trail. The project, six years in the making, required coordinating with seven subdivisions, and Nassau County and Fernandina Beach officials and staff.
Amelia Island Trail President Mike Pikula said federal funds totaling 1.7 million dollars were received to fund the project after a grant application, prepared by Taco Pope, former Nassau County Director of Planning and Economic Development, was submitted and approved by the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization of which Commissioner Danny Leeper is a member and lent his support and guidance.
Jack Healan, developer of Crane Island who worked with Amelia Trails representatives to extend the trail to Crane Island, said the remaining link of the River-To-Sea Trail should be completed by the end of the year. Once completed, the public will soon have access to Crane Island’s river park complex including a fishing pier.
Pikula recognized a long list of individuals whose efforts made the River-To- Sea Trail possible. In particular, he extended his appreciation to County Attorney/Administrator Mike Mullin, Bill Moore, former director of planning and development for the Amelia Island Plantation, and Susan Henderson area artist who designed the trail logo.
Since most of the trail is now complete, Friends of the Amelia Island Trail will begin installing benches, bike racks, and bicycle service stations. These amenities are funded by donors. (To donate click here.)
Pikula said volunteers for Amelia Island Trail are planning four additional island trails. The first is a continuation of the Amelia Island Trail westward along the parkway to A1A, an east west “Schools to Downtown Waterfront Trail,” from Hickory and Gum Streets to S 3rd to the Amelia River, a north-south trail on Will Hardee and Citrona, and a north-south trail running from North 14th Street and Atlantic Avenue, to Egans Creek to the Nassau County Boat Ramp.
The goal of Amelia Island Trail is to “connect places and people, promote fitness, and improve day-to-day lives in our community.” Judging from the impressive activity on the newly completed Amelia-River-To Sea Trail, the public enthusiastically welcomes this new addition to our community.
Thank you for those involved with the Amelia Island Trail for improving the quality of life for all of us on Amelia Island!