Trail Update for February, 2015
A lot has happened since our last update.
First, Friends of the Amelia Island Trail (FOAIT) has partnered with Boys Scouts of America Troop 89 in a series of projects to enhance the Amelia Island Trail. If you’ve been on the trail recently you have noticed five concrete pads have been installed at key locations near the AIT. Those pads will soon hold benches for use by trail patrons. Additionally, each bench will also have a 9-1-1 address posted to assist Nassau County authorities in responding to emergencies. The concrete pads were made possible by your donations and the benches were arranged by Chris Matricia for his Eagle Scout Project; donors’ names will appear on plaques on each bench. Labor was provided by volunteers from Friends of the Amelia Island Trail and Troop 89. We are currently awaiting final coordination between Nassau County and FDOT which will authorize us to permanently affix the benches to the concrete. Chris and his dad are pictured below on one of the benches.
Second, with the gracious help of Nassau County’s Planning Department, we have produced a custom-made map of the AIT. That map and maps of the East Coast Greenway are now affixed to the kiosk display at the north trailhead in Peters Point Beachfront Park. You can view the AIT map in the maps section of this website. A photo of the east side of our kiosk with displays is below.
Third, we have continued to work with county, regional and state officials to create additional trails on Amelia Island. Our next proposed project, the Simmons Trail, has been approved by the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and FDOT, and is now in the FDOT’s current 5-year construction plan. Design is anticipated in 2016 with construction of the 2.2 mile, $1.76mil trail in 2018. The trail will run along the Simmons Rd right-of-way from S. Fletcher Av to Bailey Rd, and then south along Bailey Rd into the City’s recreational fields near the airport. Our next project in planning is an extension of the 6.2 mile AIT to the northwest for another 4 miles alongside the Amelia Island Parkway to intersect with highway A1A just east of the Shave Bridge.
Fourth, Bill Moore, an active volunteer and officer of FOAIT, has spearheaded a project to reduce sign clutter along the AIT. Thanks to his efforts an agreement has been reached with Nassau County and FDOT Officials which will reduce the size and number of signs and help relocate remaining signs to more appropriate locations. Relatedly, at our recommendation, Nassau County will soon post “Trail Rules” to help trail users walk and ride safely on the AIT.
And lastly, we have partnered with the North Florida Bicycle Club to establish a weekly group bicycle ride on the AIT. The ride starts every Wednesday at 10am at the north trailhead in Peters Point Beachfront Park and goes south to Big Talbot Island and back. You can visit www.nfbc.us for information on this and many other group rides.
Thanks to all of our volunteers, contributors and bench donors who have supported these projects.
Friends of the Amelia Island Trails, Inc.
Eagle Scout candidate Chris Matricia and father, Dan, on one of the new AIT benches
Information Kiosk at North Trailhead in Peters Point Beachfront Park
AMELIA ISLAND TRAIL MAP KIOSK
During April 2014 a small group of Amelia Island Trail volunteers worked quietly to construct a very sturdy and attractive map and information kiosk at the AIT’s North Trailhead within Nassau County’s Peters Point Beachfront Park. When completed, the kiosk will sport six display panels which will showcase information and maps for the AIT and the East Coast Greenway. It will also house maps depicting future trails planned for Amelia Island and provide information about Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc. Construction is nearly done; remaining work consists of some finishing tasks, creation and installation of the maps and displays, and marking of the handicap parking and access parts of the parking lot.
Construction of the kiosk was definitely a group effort but Allen Gould, a master carpenter who also happens to be a very accomplished and dedicated bicyclist, led the effort for us. Under his guidance and watchful eye, a handful of enthusiastic amateur carpenters and a few professionals turned a plan on paper into a functional project.
In addition to all our “Friends” members who made contributions, bought T-shirts and provided volunteer labor, I’d like to recognize several other contributors to this specific project who provided assistance at key times during construction including: Billy Stonebreaker (Nassau County), Mark and Sherry Bean (BeanBuilders), Johnny Meyers (Meyers Trucking), Asa Gillette (Gillette and Associates), Ronnie Mixon (Top Quality Concrete), and Mark Cutshaw (Florida Public Utilities) and his field crew led by Billy Clardy. We anticipate holding a dedication ceremony for the kiosk sometime in May or early June to recognize all those who contributed to this project.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF UPCOMING EVENT!
DON'T FORGET THE TOUR DE FORTS COMING UP IN APRIL.