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Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

One of Florida’s most popular and unique urban pathways, the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail stretches from St. Petersburg north to Tarpon Springs and on to the Pasco County line for a total of 50 miles. Eventually, the Pinellas Trail is planned to expand into a 75-mile loop throughout Pinellas County. Part of that growing effort is the 4-mile Duke Energy Trail on the east side of the peninsula.

Opened in 1996, the Pinellas Trail is a vital transportation and health link between highly urbanized areas of the county, scenic coastal regions with vast natural resources like beaches and parks. linking many different neighborhoods along its path it has become an important facility for residents in west coast Florida to get around on foot or bike while also being good exercise.

In 2007, the Pinellas Trail was inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame and its importance and impact continue to grow as it is not only part of the 75-mile loop project, but also plays a role in the Florida Coast-To-Coast Trail, a developing 250-mile route across the state from the Gulf of Mexico on its west side to the Atlantic Ocean on its east end. In 2017, a new 5-mile-long addition to the Pinellas Trail opened at the northern end, and it is the most scenic section because it passes through undeveloped areas. Pinellas Trail was first built to make bicycling safer

Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail starts in downtown St. Petersburg and follows the old CSX railway right of way to Tarpon Springs. Its story began in 1983, inspired by the vision of a man whose son was killed riding his bike. The first six-mile section opened in 1990, and it’s been expanding ever since.

It is heartening to see how much it is used, and by all sorts of people. With a separate, well-marked pedestrian lane, it attracts and comfortably accommodates dog-walkers, joggers, wheelchairs and strollers.

With more than 200,000 users in some months, the Pinellas Trail ranks as one of the most heavily used rail-trails in America, according to the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Planning your ride on the Pinellas Trail

Pinellas County has done a lot of things right with this trail, and one of them is the extensive, helpful information available. Each section of the trail has a detailed guide, with a map and information about parking, water fountains, restrooms, bike rental and repair shops, restaurants, lodging and more. If you’re planning a trip on the Pinellas Trail, we recommend you spend time with this material to plan your route.
One of the most popular sections is the quarter-mile-long Cross Bayou Bridge which spans Boca Ciega Bay. The $4 million bridge was built specifically for the Pinellas Trail — that’s right, no vehicles at all — and the views are terrific.

Parking and Trail Access

On the south end of the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg, parking is available along 1st Avenue on the south side of Pioneer Park. On the north end of the trail in Palm Harbor, the John Chesnut Sr. Park (2200 E. Lake Road S., Palm Harbor) provides plentiful parking as well. In between, there are many other parks along the route that provide additional parking options.

link to GMB


Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

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