Across the country and across the state, places like Dunedin, Winter Garden and Inverness enjoy extensive, connected multi-modal pathways, but shockingly, Naples does not. The Gordon River Greenway and the Rich King Memorial Greenway are heavily used and very popular with residents and visitors to the area, but they are 4-miles in length or less and are not connected to other safe pathways. The project provides a safe network of multi-modal pathways, making Southwest Florida safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Naples Pathways Coalition is thrilled to announce the Paradise Coast Trail, which will be a premier 70+ mile trail built exclusively for safe and enjoyable walking, running and biking.
The Paradise Coast Trail (PCT) will connect Naples to Bonita Springs, Collier Seminole State Park, Ave Maria and other areas within and beyond Collier County. It will expand transportation options, improve health and wellness, reduce our carbon footprint and provide a destination to experience the Paradise Coast's unique beauty. The PCT will drive quality of life and healthier lifestyles, yield economic benefits to the county, increases property values, and enable greater safety for walkers, runners, recreational and commuter bicyclists.
The first segment we are focusing on is the connection of the Gordon River Greenway (4 miles) and the Rich King Memorial Greenway (3 miles), then to the new Paradise Coast Sports Complex. This will be an exciting and important first phase!
We have partnered with Rails to Trails Conservancy and hired consulting firm Kimley-Horn to help us bring this vision to reality. Rails to Trails even selected the Paradise Coast Trail as a Priority Trail. Click here to see their endorsement of the project and read the case study.
The Collier County Metropolitan Planning Organization adopted a resolution endorsing the project. The next big step is the required Feasibility Study. Naples Pathways Coalition applied for a Local Legislative Funding Request for the estimated cost of the study with the encouragement and sponsorship of Senator Kathleen Passidomo. We were thrilled when Governor DeSantis signed this $250,000 funding into the budget for the 2020/2021 fiscal year! We have received the Notice to Proceed for the Feasibility Study and Environmental Reviews of two priority segments, and the work will commence by June 2021.
Over the subsequent 12-15 months, engineers will be collecting and inventorying data, conducting public outreach, and developing an action plan. In addition to the feasibility study, Kimley-Horn will complete environmental reviews for two priority segments that will be identified through the feasibility study. Upon completion of the study, stakeholders will have a report with key milestones to guide the development of the Paradise Coast Trail.
NPC has been working diligently to fast-track the trail's development and not wait on the typical improvement project time frame. We have successfully shaved five years from the planning process through our fundraising and the Legislative Funding Request. We are grateful to Collier County and the City of Naples for contributing to the required $100,000 Local Match, demonstrating broad community support for the PCT. We will continue to raise funds to continue moving this project along much faster than the norm.
We invite you donate today so we can all be walking, running and biking on the Paradise Coast Trail in our lifetime, and leave it for future generations to enjoy!
Check out the great press the Paradise Coast Trail has been receiving:
NPC would like to acknowledge all of our incredible donors who are helping us to create safe, bikeable, walkable communities in Collier County and supporting the efforts to fast track the 70+ mile Paradise Coast Trail!