On Saturday March 31, 2018, about 25 riders from the Hernando County area gathered to take part in the 8-mile, Good Neighbor Community Bike Trail Ride. Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis led the way on the causal, at your own pace ride. The journey began at 70 Russell Street, in downtown Brooksville, and treated riders to scenery of the city otherwise unseen. It offers a way to get out, get active, and remain healthy. This free, family friendly event was designed to celebrate and encourage citizens to see what has been done and the advantages it will have on our community. This is the second year of the community bike ride and the hope is to continue it every year.
The concept of the Good Neighbor Trail began with the committee forming on March 6, 2000, and they have met numerous times since that date to see the idea to completion. Now the fruit of all the hard work is awaiting to welcome all who will give it a try. The Good Neighbor Trail is the Brooksville portion of the Florida Coast to Coast Trail. When completed, the Good Neighbor Trail will connect to the 46 mile paved, Withlacoochee State Trail, allowing easy access to other cities by bike.
The inspiration for the community ride came from CHIPP (Hernando County Community Health Improvement Plan Partnership) with the interest in improving the overall physical and mental health of the community. The hope is that more people will want to get out and get active to help maintain a health weight. CHIPP is trying to raise awareness and combat the rising obesity rate. Since the trail will connect to the Withlacoochee State Trail, the inspiration was economical as well. The connection allows riders from other cities and counties into our community and the abilities to enjoy restaurants, hotels, and the numerous local businesses we have to offer.
I myself have walked a portion of the Good Neighbor Trail from the Historic Brooksville Train Depot, to where it runs across E. Jefferson Street near Coney Island Drive Inn. The paved trail makes walking or bike riding ideal and allows for a peaceful, and scenic alternative for physical fitness. Areas with heavy tree coverage provides perfect shade on a hot day. Didn’t make it out to the community bike ride? Grab your bike, helmet, and the kiddos and get out there to see for yourself just how wonderful the Good Neighbor Trail really is. Once you have, be sure to tell your friends, family, coworkers they need to give it a try too.