In the hustle and bustle of Central Florida's diverse landscape, the quest for safer streets…
On Saturday, April 4, I’ll join a group from Florida Today headlined by Norman Moody to walk and bike along a planned portion of the Coast to Coast Connector near Titusville.
Norman will lead a group biking the trail. I plan to walk.
I believe walking is an undervalued and important exercise that can save lives and get our young people moving in the right direction. So does the American Heart Association and many other organizations that sponsor annual events to focus on the value of walking.
It is the perfect exercise for parents to do with – and for – their children.
I started walking in 2012 after a series of surgeries following a fall while fishing near the Gandy Bridge in Tampa. I landed badly on a shell-encrusted rock on the jetty. I have walked and run more than 1,500 miles since November 2012, and I hope to get a regular walking group going soon in Brevard County.
It is a great way to get out, learn the community better and make new friends while getting healthier. Although I love to run, too, I mix in a lot of walking to save some of the wear and tear on my knees and ankles.
The events on the unimproved trail April 4 and May 2 are not necessarily for beginners, though. The 7-mile stretch through pine flatwoods and hammocks is rugged; a portion of the trail might have calf-high water for short distances.
Registration is at the Brevard County north parks website. Scroll down to “Space Coast Connector Hike or Bike.” The cost is $18. Funds will support trail maintenance.
We’ll meet at the Harry T. and Harriet V. Moore Memorial Park, 2180 Freedom Ave., Mims. This is important: You have to meet us there and board a bus for hikers and bikers (and your bikes) for the north end of the trail. Buses leave at 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. You’ll ride the bus back to the Moore Center, too.
I signed up for the 7:30 a.m. bus if you want to walk with me. For more information on signing up, go to this link.
Word of caution: Again, this is not necessarily the hike you want to do if it is your first time out. It is also not the best for little children.
But when construction is completed and the trail paved, it will become part of the estimated 250-mile the Coast to Coast Connector, which cuts across the state starting in Brevard County and ending in St. Petersburg: the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
Some hope it won’t stop there, with trails in various stages of planning going north from Brevard County to Jacksonville and south from St. Petersburg to Naples. More controversial is an idea to then connect Naples to about Fort Lauderdale.
For more on the Coast to Coast Connector project, see Norman’s report. It has an interactive map and details on the economic impact expected from the project.
We hope to have a good group of FLORIDA TODAY staff out for this event. It is an example of how we hope you will interact with us and our efforts to Mobilize the county. Along with running, biking and hiking, we have big plans for water sports enthusiasts, too.
I introduced Michelle Mulak, who will lead our Mobilize efforts in a blog last week. Here is a link if you missed it.
We also hope you’ll like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MobilizeBrevard
Check out the article on the Florida Today website.