Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail, Flagler County, Florida

(This is a guest post by my friend Sayre Kulp. Readers of A Taste For The Woods are familiar with Sayre, but for those of you who just started here, his story is a remarkable testimony of a changed life. At age 28, in 2009, he weighed over 400 pounds. He took up walking, running, weightlifting, and cycling, and dropped 160 of those pounds. You can follow Sayre's fitness life on Facebook:

Sayre currently resides in Florida, and took some time to write for us about his favorite places to walk, run, and ride. )

Florida has a wealth of bike trails (most of them paved). There are a number of very long, very popular trails that draw tourists from all over, and I’m sure I’ll talk about them at some point. But right now, I’d like to clue folks in to one of the pleasant little surprises I’ve found since moving down here just over a year ago, the Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail.

The Lehigh Trail is located in Flagler County on an abandoned railroad corridor comprising 195 acres. The
railroad spur once carried cement and other materials to and from the Lehigh Portland Cement Plant in Flagler Beach. The trail connects US 1 north of Bunnell with Colbert Lane, running through the center of Palm Coast, through Graham Swamp and ending just west of the old Lehigh Portland Cement Company. Surrounded by trees for most of the way, the trail provides a safe, non-motorized way to travel among the cities of Bunnell, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast. In the 3,000-acre conservation zone of Graham Swamp the trail has elevated views of the surrounding wetlands. The trail starts with a wooden boardwalk style bridge and goes west for a couple hundred yards through the Graham Swamp Conservation Area continuing on to the old railroad bed. This is a very active wildlife area with birds, alligators, turtles, snakes, deer, otters, armadillos and ferrel pigs.

While this trail is relatively short, (only about 6 ½ miles each way), it has yielded some of the best wildlife viewing experiences I’ve had in the Sunshine State. This trail is especially good for beginners as it is flat, well paved, and offers a wide variety of scenery in a reasonably short distance. It is near the top of a short list of trails I would take visiting outdoor enthusiasts to experience.

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A Taste For The Woods: Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail, Flagler County, Florida

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Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail, Flagler County, Florida