Florida's Adventure Coast Blog

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2018: A Look Forward

From novel new content to outdoor recreation news, here’s your sneak peek at what’s in store for 2018. The coming year promises a rich array of experiences and floridasadventurecoast.com is your one-stop shop for discovery and planning. Check out our blog posts for inspiration and stay tuned for new interactive planning and expanded event features premiering next month.

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Emily and Catherine Reeves, Owner, Rising Sun Bistro and Market

Stories you’ll love

Learn our Back Stories. Starting this month with the Rising Sun Bistro and Market, we introduce some of the folks who chose to make their mark here on Florida’s Adventure Coast. Restaurant and shop owners, charter captains, hosts and other business owners will share the why and the how that brought them here.

In another new feature: Meet the Maker, you’ll feast your eyes upon extraordinary creativity. Many artists and craftspeople find inspiration here in Nature’s Place to Play. With the help of photographs and video, you will meet our owners and makers as they share their unique stories.

Premier of Park’s Plans

Access to outdoor amenities is top-of-mind for the Hernando County Parks Department. In 2018, beloved spaces will be re-opened and monitored with care.

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Bayport Park Pier, Hernando County Public Information

The long-awaited reconstruction of Bayport Pier is expected this year. Damaged during Hurricane Hermine in 2016, the project is now in the design phase and goes out to bid shortly.

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Observation Tower at Linda Pedersen Park, Visitors Bureau

You will soon be able to gaze over the saltmarsh to the open Gulf of Mexico from forty feet up. The Observation Tower at Linda Pedersen Park will be re-open in early 2018.

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Bayport-Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail, Hernando County Public Information

Now visible from the Observation Tower is the marked coastal paddling trail. Opened last March, the Bayport – Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail affords an exciting, spacious paddling experience through the lush saltmarsh.  

Nearby, the exquisitely clear Weeki Wachee River has become an immensely popular destination for paddlers. Because so many visit, a serene natural experience can be disrupted by crowds of other kayakers. To care for this sensitive ecosystem and important waterway, an official Weeki Wachee River Carrying Capacity Study is planned.

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Kayakers on the Weeki Wachee River, Visitors Bureau

Further efforts to protect the Weeki Wachee River and enhance the paddling experience includes exploring alternate take-out points. Currently a 5.5-mile trip, another landing point will present a shorter option, reducing river congestion.

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Rogers Park, Photo Courtesy of Chuck Morton

In February, Rogers Park will re-open with a brand-new parking lot made from porous asphalt and other enhancements for storm water management.  This will benefit the Weeki Wachee River by reducing sediments and nutrients entering the waterway.

Two park playgrounds received major facelifts. The playground at Pine Island Beach opened last week and - northeast of Brooksville - Lake Townsen Regional Park’s playground is slated to open early this year.

Good Neighbor Trail News

For cycling enthusiasts, progress on the Good Neighbor Trail is good news. 

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Good Neighbor Trailhead, downtown Brooksville, adjacent to the 1885 Train Depot Museum, Visitors Bureau

The next part of the Good Neighbor Trail project consists of Phase III and Phase IV. Phase III, a 2.5-mile section planned to open this month, will continue from Weatherly Road to the Withlacoochee State Forest.  

In February, construction on Phase IV will start. This section will continue the twelve foot-wide, paved, multi-use trail for 4.2 miles through the Withlacoochee State Forest to the 46-mile long Withlacoochee State Trail. Phase IV construction is expected take approximately one year.

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Detail excerpted from Florida's Adventure Coast Bike Trails Map showing Good Neighbor Trail progress as solid green and dotted green line. 

When complete, the Good Neighbor Trail will be 10 miles long and part of Florida’s 250-mile-long Coast-to-Coast Trail.

Welcome Florida Outdoor Writers Association

World-class fishing, boating, paddling, hiking, birdwatching and nature-viewing, bicycling, ATVing and hunting are some of the reasons why the Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA) chose Florida’s Adventure Coast to host their 2018 Annual Conference.  From September 12–16, dozens of outdoor media specialists will immerse themselves in area adventures.

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Diane Bedard, Naturecoaster.com publisher, accepting her 2017 Excellence in Craft Award from FOWA President Tom Van Horn

This delightful and diverse group loves Florida authenticity and where better to experience it than on Florida’s Adventure Coast? FOWA is composed of outdoor communicators from all types of media, including representatives from Sport Fishing Magazine, Salt Water Sportsman Magazine, the Lakeland Ledger, radio and TV fishing hosts, website publishers, book publishers and game and fish researchers. Members also include prominent outdoor industry corporate members and important conservation groups.

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In 2018, as always, we look forward to welcoming you and Florida adventurers of all types to Nature’s Place to Play!