Governor and cabinet approve purchase of Seminole County trail connector
Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved a land exchange with the city of Winter Springs that will complete a significant portion of the Cross Seminole Trail. The long-sought 1.36-acre parcel will join two distinct segments of the trail, providing greater recreational access to the natural and residential communities west of Lake Jesup.
“DEP is proud to make strategic land exchanges and acquisitions like this one, which benefit not only our environment but our communities,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “DEP is committed to working with local communities to expand our trail system and give residents and visitors even more opportunities to enjoy the natural resources that make Florida the best state in the nation to live, work and recreate.”
The Cross Seminole Trail is a paved recreational trail that has been designated as one of Seminole County’s Showcase Trails because of its length, beauty and accommodations for trail enthusiasts. It is a component of the Florida National Scenic Trail and the Florida Greenways and Trails Priority System.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said, “Florida’s natural spaces, greenways and trails are second to none, and I was proud to vote in favor of this land exchange today to finish a significant portion of the Cross Seminole Trail."
Charles Lacey, Mayor, city of Winter Springs said, “Finalizing the purchase of land to complete the Cross Seminole Trail is very important to the community and to me personally. I congratulate the city’s residents who joined me in our determined effort to finally connect this beautiful, recreational pathway. To me, joining the trail in the heart of our city, forever links the can do spirit of Winter Springs with the wider community of Seminole County.”
The 0.44-acre parcel being conveyed to the city will also benefit trail users by providing trail access, improved access to an existing park from the trail and restroom facilities.
John Horan, Chairman, Seminole County said, “Seminole County greatly appreciates the cooperation of the state of Florida, the city of Winter Springs and the Seminole County School Board in securing this vital link for the Cross Seminole Trail. It will advance public safety and enhance the enjoyment of the trail. Indeed, we are Seminole County: The Natural Choice.”
Meandering north through Oviedo and Winter Springs, the Cross Seminole Trail skirts Central Winds Park before breaching the cypress forests of Spring Hammock Preserve. With approximately 31 total miles of paved pathways, it traverses a variety of settings, creating a peaceful and picturesque experience in an urban setting. Managed by Seminole County, the Cross Seminole Trail offers abundant opportunities to the public, including hiking, cycling and equestrian activities.
Mark Brandenburg, Vice Chair, Seminole County Parks and Preservation Advisory Committee (PPAC), said, “When I first joined the PPAC 10 years ago, completing the 'missing link' had already been discussed for years prior. The work necessary between private landowners, the city of Winter Springs, Seminole County, and the state for land swaps, exchange agreements, and maintenance agreements was more complicated than anyone could have imagined. I am ecstatic that all the pieces have finally come together to allow this last component of the Cross Seminole Trail to be completed!”