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Lynn Haven Announces Grand Opening of Rails to Trails

September 8, 2023 @ 10:00 am 11:00 am

The City of Lynn Haven is excited to announce the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony date for the Rails-to-Trails project will be September 8, 2023, at 10 AM. Due to limited parking at the event site, parking and shuttle services will be available at Palo Alto Church of Christ at 3119 U.S. 231, Panama City, FL 32405 from 9 AM-11:30 AM.

Along with the ribbon cutting, a trailhead dedication ceremony will be held to honor and name the second trailhead after Ray Wishart, a longtime Lynn Haven resident and Mosley High School teacher who was a frequent cyclist was struck by a semi-truck in 2016 that ended his life. The first trailhead was named after Frances Wittkopf, a former city commissioner in 2019.

In collaboration with FDOT’s Sun Trail Program and local non-profit Friends of Bay County Trails, the city created a multi-use public trail that extends a 12-foot-wide asphalt path over three miles along the old railroad tracks from SR-390 and Georgia Avenue to U.S. Highway 231. Rails- to-Trails will provide pedestrians and non-motorized transportation (omitting electric wheelchairs), including, but not limited to, bicycles, roller skates, scooters, and running shoes. The path includes amenities such as benches, multi-station fountains, bicycle repair stations, and lighting poles. The trail operates seven days a week from dawn to dusk.

This project ties into the statewide, shared use, nonmotorized SUN Trails Program which aims to connect trails across Florida. To fulfill the sizeable vision for the Lynn Haven Rails-to-Trails project, its construction was carried out in two phases. First, in 2015, the city secured a grant of $268,000 for the project’s first phase. It funded the preliminary engineering and design of the trail and was approved for phase two in 2018. The second phase included an FDOT grant of $4.3 million to complete the project’s construction.

In 2017, the torch was passed to Vickie Gainer, then the grant manager of the project and to see the first phase to completion. “It has been a long time coming for city and resident of Lynn Haven,” stated City Manager Vickie Gainer. “The support and involvement from former commissioners, FDOT, city staff, engineers and most of all our resident’s involvement has helped make the long-awaited Rails to Trails project come to fruition.”

For any questions on the Rails to Trails Grand Opening, please contact the Marketing & Communications Department at [email protected].

Vickie Gainer, Lynn Haven City Manager
Phone: (850) 248-0612
Email: [email protected]
Ben Janke, Director of Economic Development and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
Phone: (850) 248-0701
Email: [email protected]