Across the country and across the state, places like Dunedin, Winter Garden and Inverness enjoy extensive, connected multiuse pathways, but shockingly, Naples does not. And too many of us have either been hit by a vehicle while biking or running on local streets and sidewalks or had numerous close calls – even in our own gated communities!
Without a safe network of non-motorized multi-use pathways, itis getting less and less safe for us to enjoy activities we love. To answer that need, Naples Pathways Coalition is thrilled to announce the Paradise Coast Trail!
We envision this to be a premier, 70+ mile trail built exclusively for safe and enjoyable walking, running and biking. Connecting Naples, Ave Maria, Immokalee and many other areas within and beyond Collier County, it will expand transportation options, improve health and wellness, reduce our carbon footprint and provide a destination to experience the Paradise Coast’s unique beauty.
Consider a future where you are within minutes of a trail that you and your family can safely walk, bike and explore.
Did you know Florida has one of the highest rates of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the nation? Between 2011 and 2016, Collier County had over 800 reported bicycle and pedestrian crashes with 33 fatalities and 119 serious injuries.
Imagine freedom from the fear of being hit by a vehicle as you move along this separated pathway. Over 40% of Americans say they would be more likely to ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated.
Consider the value of your home increasing simply because it is close to this trail. The National Association of Homebuilders cites trails as one of the community amenities most desired by prospective homebuyers.
The values of homes in areas with “above-average” access to active transportation are higher than those of comparable properties by as much as $34,000. Imagine the stronger sense of community, more enjoyable quality of life and the economic benefits that will come to Collier County from the Paradise Coast Trail.
With the water quality issues we faced last summer that caused thousands upon thousands of our expected visitors to vacation elsewhere, we can no longer rely on our beaches to drive tourism.
The 22-mile West Orange Trail in Winter Garden is said to be bringing in $3.6M to the area annually!
The popular Gordon River Greenway is an outstanding example of a local multi-use pathway. It gives a taste of what awaits with the Paradise Coast Trail. However, it is only 4 miles long and not connected to other pathways. Imagine a trail experience like this extending over 70 miles!
At a glance, the impact of trails:
- 61% of Floridians say that outdoor recreation is very important in their lives
- Walking, jogging and bicycling are the outdoor recreation activities desired most by Floridians
- Naples residents say walking, hiking and biking trails are the community’s most needed recreational facilities
- Bicycling and walking provide healthy exercise for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities
- Those who walk 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week have a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease
- Trails are promoted as a healthy option for Americans by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Three Central Florida trails have an estimated economic impact of $42.6 million annually
- Construction and maintenance of trails create more jobs per mile than any other type of transportation project
- A viable trail network is an important option to provide opportunities for car free commuting
Fundraising for the Paradise Coast Trail has already begun. You can help this dream become a reality by donating today! Please visit www.NaplesPathways.org/PCTrail to learn more about this project and make a tax deductible donation.