LYNN HAVEN, Fla.(WMBB) — Lynn Haven officials are finally beginning to work on turning the abandoned railroad into walking trails.
Lynn Haven City Commissioners first passed the Rails-to-Trails project back in 2016. It’s taken a while, but after receiving a $4 million state department of transportation grant, their vision is about to become a reality.
“I know many of them have been hearing about this project for years, and now it’s finally come to fruition,” Lynn Haven City Manager Vickie Gainer said. “It’s just another great activity for the residents here to get out and walk to have bike trails, enjoy nature, and be a part of the city.”
Lynn Haven officials said the Rails to Trails project should be done by August.
The non-motorized trail will be 12 feet wide paved asphalt that extends over three miles from Highway 390 to U.S. 231. Along the trail will be benches and pole barns pavilions for picnicking or resting.
“So this project probably is coming upon almost ten years,” Gainer said. “I think they started this project back in 2015, and of course, every phase takes a little bit of work and time.”
One trailhead is already named in honor of the late former City Commissioner Frances Wittkopf. City officials said Wittkopf played a massive role in the project and couldn’t wait to see it come to life.
“We knew her health was declining, and it was a pretty emotional day,” Gainer said.” She came out with all of her family and got to see something that she really worked on this project to get it up here in Lynn Haven, and it happened, but she still has family here, and they’ll see the entire project come to fruition.”
A second trail phase will run from Highway 390 west to the old Fuel Depot property, Marina Island. The city will have to wait on the developer to complete work before completing the trail.
The state also plans to connect this trail to others, creating a network of trails and providing a cross-country experience.