CLERMONT – A crowd of more than 100 bicyclists and trail enthusiasts gathered at a grand-opening ceremony on April 21 for the 4-mile South Lake Trail.
The new trail connects the 5.5-mile Lake Minneola Scenic Trail and the 22-mile West Orange Trail, creating more than 30 miles of contiguous trails. Attendees at the ceremony included Lake County Commissioners, bicyclists from Florida Planning & Zoning Association (FPZA) Bike-a-Thon, the Orlando Road Club and the Lake County Sheriff's Police Activities League youth-cycling team. The Bike-a-Thon raised more than $5,000 for the boundless playground program.
"Thank you to the Florida Planning and Zoning Association," Commissioner Renick said. "The Bike-a-Thon is a great way to support a worthy cause and also feature the long-awaited South Lake Trail."
Amye King, president of the association, added, "We are very thankful to the City of Clermont and the Lake-Sumter MPO for supporting FPZA's Bike-a-Thon to support boundless playgrounds. The timing is perfect for the ribbon cutting of the South Lake Trail."
Commissioner Renick also recognized former County leaders Robert Pool and Catherine Hanson for their efforts in the trail construction. According to the Lake County Department of Public Works, the trail project took several years to become a reality as right-of-way acquisition and alignment design delayed the process.
Lake County Park Rangers are patrolling the trail to provide aid, support and security. Future enhancements for the trail include mileage markers, covered benches, trash receptacles, bike racks and more landscaping. For more information about the South Lake Trail, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 742-0992.