Here’s our winter update on trail and cycling activity in our local area primarily covering Amelia Island, the Talbot Islands and nearby Nassau County.

Amelia River-to-Sea Trail. (ARTS Trail) The trail to Crane Island Park at the western portion of the trail is now complete, and the pier in the park that extends to the Amelia River is open. The park is still under development. See ARTS Trail Tour

Local Short Trail Projects. The Friends of the Amelia Island Trails, on February 18, 2020, asked the city of Fernandina Beach to approve three projects to add sidewalks and trails. The projects are:

  1. Construct a multi-use path on the north side of Gum Street from S. 11thSt. to S. 5thSt,
  2. Construct a path through the city park at Lime St. and S. 8th to connect Lime St. to S. 7thSt, and construct a short sidewalk on the north side of Lime St. to connect the existing marked crosswalk across S. 8th St. to Clinch Dr, and
  3. Find a means to get cyclists and pedestrians safely from S. 2ndSt. and Ash St. to the planned sidewalk on the east side of the railroad tracks connecting Ash St. to Centre St.
See Request for 3 new trail/sidewalk projects (2/18/20)

Timucuan Trail. The Timucuan Trail runs through Big and Little Talbot islands, connecting the south end of Amelia Island Trail to the ferry crossing at Mayport. There are two more segments of trail to build. One of them, a section that runs from Huguenot park to the Fort George river bridge, is currently being designed, with construction expected to start when funding is secured which hopefully will be as soon as the next few years.

The other section, a trail that crosses Simpson Creek and Myrtle Creek, requires bridge replacement. The FDOT has scheduled replacement staring this year. Bids go out in May 2020, with construction beginning as soon as August or September.

Both bridges will be replaced with a wider bridge design that includes eight foot wide shoulders and a ten foot wide pathway on the east side. Heckscher Drive will be one lane controlled by traffic signals during the construction.

Water Taxi to St. Marys, Georgia. The Friends of the Amelia Island Trails has been working with the city of Fernandina Beach to reestablish a water taxi that runs between Fernandina Beach and St Marys, Georgia. On 11/5/19, the city of Fernandina Beach approved Amelia River Excursions to provide the taxi service, with an expected start date of spring 2020 based on reestablished fuel service at the marina. Fernandina Beach and St Marys have each approved a $10,000 grant for the service and free dockage for the first two years. 11/10/19 Fernandina Observer -City awards water taxi service to Amelia River Cruises

The expected start date has been moved back, and now depends primarily on the status of marina repairs and fuel service, which could be as early as this summer.

New Trail Plans page. The Friends of the Amelia Island Trails have provided an updated long term trail plan that includes planned and conceptual trails for Amelia Island, Nassau County, and Duval County. See Trail Plans

Mike Pikula
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc.
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City residents have asked for a paved off-road path from the schools to downtown. The proposed trail along Hickory St. would connect the schools on Citrona Ave. to the ball fields, the Peck Center, the Amelia Island Museum of History and the downtown waterfront.

Volunteers have gone door to door in the neighborhoods along the proposed trail. The workshop on January 23rd presented a concept plan, and then the community responded with ideas and concerns. See also
9/9/19 FBCC authorizes planning study to extend island trail to Amelia River
1/2/20 Schools to Downtown Waterfront Trail public workshop
1/25/20 Proposed Schools to Downtown Waterfront Trail
All articles appearing in the Fernandina Observer.



Kingsland, Georgia has a website with a map of bicycle trails in nearby southern Georgia. See and look for the “Biking” brochure, or this direct link Camden County Georgia Biking. The brochure includes where bicycle rentals are available.



The Grand Opening of the Amelia River-to-Sea Trail took place on Monday, September 23, 2019 at the Bailey Road Trailhead. Nassau County Commissioners, City Commissioners and approximately 50 local supporters attended to hear remarks from Commissioner Justin Taylor, Chairman of the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners. Additional speakers included Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, Aaron Bell District two Commissioner, Mike Pikula, President of Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc., and Mr. Jack Healan, Developer of Crane Island.

See Mike Pikula's speech and September 24, 2019 Fernandina Observer article Amelia Island River-To-Sea Trail almost complete with more trails on the drawing board.

Mike Pikula, President
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc.
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On Monday, September 23, 2019 at 4:00 p.m., the Board of County Commissioners will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in celebration of the opening of the 1.8 mile eastern portion of the ARTS trail.

This will take place at the sports complex at the end of Bailey Road. We will have the opportunity to ride this trail after the ceremony. We hope to see you all there.
See Press Release ARTS Trail Opening Ceremony

Bill Bokram for
Mike Pikula, President
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc.
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Please join us to support our next planned future addition to our trails: The Fernandina Trail. On September 17, 2019 the Fernandina Beach City Commission will hear our proposal for a planning study to tie the planned Citrona trail to downtown via Hickory, Gum and Third Streets. The study is needed to apply for a SUN Trail grant to fund trail construction (estimated at $1.3 million.)
Fernandina Trail proposal and SUN Grant Request

Please wear your bicycling or walking atire and attend this important meeting. Your presence will go a long way toward building consensus for this important trail segment.

Some talking points for your consideration:
Trails tie us together with nature, our neighbors and our community.
Trails are tools of conservation by reducing auto traffic and the need for parking.
Every trail is a tree planting opportunity.

Best regards and see you on September 3 at the City Commission,

Mike Spino
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc.
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Here’s our summer update on trail and cycling activity in our local area primarily covering Amelia Island, the Talbot Islands and the Ft George area.

Amelia River-to-Sea Trail. (ARTS Trail) The trail is now under construction to be completed and open by this fall. The contractor, Florida Infrastructure, Inc., has completed various retaining walls and is progressing from the west end at the City Ball fields off Bailey Road towards the east end at S. Fletcher Avenue. Current work is along Simmons Road just east and west of 14th Street.

The Crane Island developers are also completing their portion of the trail.

This project is funded for $1.35 million as FDOT project 43639871 for the Simons/Bailey Road Trail portion; Crane Island developers are funding their portion of the trail.

Timucuan Trail. The new bike and pedestrian bridge over Haulover Creek is complete and now open. This new section extends the trail from the ferry crossing to the entrance to Huguenot Memorial Park.

The two new, wider roadway bridges with separated bike lanes over Simpson Creek and Myrtle Creek are on track and planned for 2021. The Timucuan Trail is also part of the East Coast Greenway and connects to the Amelia Island Trail. These bridge crossings will complete most of the remaining trail through the Talbot Islands. The remaining section, a half mile of trail that borders the Fort George Sound marsh from Huguenot Park to the Fort George River bridge, is undergoing design.

Bill Bokram for
Mike Pikula, President
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc.
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Groundbreaking for the new cross-island multi-use trail, the Amelia River-To-Sea (ARTS) Trail, took place in November 2018. As its name implies, the Trail will run from the Amelia River near Crane Island to the Atlantic Ocean at Beach Access #30 on S. Fletcher Av. Construction is now well under way with tons of fill dirt being placed along the route to prepare it for the final smooth asphalt surface.

Like the existing six-mile long Amelia Island Trail (AIT), the “ARTS” will be a 10- foot wide asphalt-surfaced trail reserved for use by walkers, runners and cyclists; no motorized vehicles will be permitted, except motorized wheelchairs for handicap access.

The contractor, Florida Infrastructure, Inc., is working in a general west to east direction so the current construction activity is along Bailey Road and the unpaved Simmons Road ROW south of the Isle de Mai subdivision. Construction is expected to take approximately 300 days with an estimated completion date of August 30, 2019.

This $1.7 million, 1.9 mile project is funded by a federal grant received through the joint efforts of the City of Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and local volunteers. Additional construction of approximately one mile of trail has already been completed by the Crane Island Development. Approximately 6/10 mile of this is a paved asphalt trail, and 4/10 mile is a crushed rock surface terminating at a small park to be built near the Amelia River. The Development will grant public access to this trail segment and park. Combined, this makes the overall ARTS Trail length approximately 2.9 miles.

Additionally, certain trailside amenities will be funded and constructed by Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc., a local non-profit organization focused on creating and improving safe walking, running and cycling paths on Amelia Island. See about us and support us

Mike Pikula
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, Inc.
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For earlier news (2013 through 2018), see News Archive



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