Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved the purchase of a 194-acre addition to the Cross Florida Greenway (Greenway) on March 24, This is the first from a recent Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) acquisition cycle. Located in Marion County between the Greenway and Ocala National Forest, the tract largely consists of upland pinewoods and is considered highly scenic. The proposed 21-mile Ocklawaha River Corridor Trail will traverse the property, linking Silver Springs State Park to the lower Ocklawaha River region.
“This acquisition provides a critical connector for the Cross Florida Greenway, furthering recreational opportunities through additional trailhead access and camping areas,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson.
The Cross Florida Greenway is a key component of the Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan Priority Trails Network, and is home to approximately 36 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The greenway stretches 110 miles across central Florida from the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast to the St. Johns River near the east coast. The corridor encompasses diverse natural habitats and traverses four counties (Citrus, Levy, Marion and Putnam). With hiking, biking, equestrian and paddling trails, boat ramps, fishing spots, campgrounds, playground and picnic shelters, the Greenway offers visitors of all interests and ages a great place to enjoy Florida's natural treasures.
In fiscal year 2013-14, 927,008 people visited the Greenway, generating an estimated $74,341,241 in direct economic impact. Of the 171 units of the Florida State Parks System, the Greenway is ranked the third-highest unit in attendance and direct economic impact; only Honeymoon Island and the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail rank higher.