Volume 2 Issue 2 | February 2022
February Piece Of Paradise:
Legacy Trail
Although January and February have brought colder temperatures than usual to Florida this year, there's no denying the weather still makes Sarasota paradise. We took advantage of a sunny day with temps in the high 60s by hopping onto one of Sarasota County's recreational jewels: The Legacy Trail. Since 2008 the trail has boasted 10 miles of continuous recreational pavement. This year the county has made considerable progress on the Legacy Trail extension, which will ultimately connect trail users from the City of North Port, through Venice and up to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota on over 30 miles of trail.
There is no shortage of trailheads (with parking) to choose from, and we most often access the trail from Culverhouse Nature Park. This trip we decided to start from the iconic pedestrian overpass at U.S. 41. We headed south and quickly encountered a point of interest (and trailhead) - the Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park, beautiful historic Venice Train Depot, and Legacy Park. It's a great rest area for those who are interested in railroad, architectural, or circus history. The Legacy Park offers a children's playground.
Railroad fans can take a gander at two train cars permanently on display Rollins W. Coakley Park. Or rest at a bench or table.
Adjacent to the parks is a popular boat launch onto the Intracoastal Waterway. The waterway (canal) was excavated in the 1960s and turned Venice into the "island" that it's now known as today. Bonus for trail users: as the Legacy Trail transitions to the Venetian Waterway Park, it runs along the Intracoastal Waterway - which means a walk or bicycle ride can combine with prime boat watching.
Bonus for trail users: as the Legacy Trail transitions to the Venetian Waterway Park, it runs along the Intracoastal Waterway - which means a walk or bicycle ride can combine with prime boat watching.

One feature the Venice portion of the trail could benefit from is more shade. Leave that to VABI (Venice Area Beautification, Inc.). They are working on an Urban Forest to promote native habitat, cooling, carbon sequestration, and stormwater absorption along the Intracoastal.
The Venice Senior Friendship Center offers a beautiful shaded view along the Venetian Waterway Park.
In addition to boaters, bicyclists, and pedestrians, we saw our fair share of airplanes fly overhead as they made their way to the nearby Venice Municipal Airport. We were also lucky to watch the Tamiami Trail Bascule Bridge (aka Circus Bridge) open its spans to let a yacht through.
The Tamiami Trail Bascule Bridge (Circus Bridge) is one of five drawbridges in Sarasota County.
The distance from the U.S. 41 pedestrian overpass to the terminus of the Venetian Waterway Park trail is approximately 3.5 miles (there are 0.05 mile markers embedded throughout the trail, for both distance and 9-1-1 assistance). Although after that distance the bridge presented a challenge for this rollerblader, it didn't seem right to skip getting a photo from the top.
Heard from a cyclist on the incline: "I thought Florida was flat!"
Nearby Consideration
The trail through Heritage Park in downtown Venice nods to several unique aspects of the city's history.
We got in our cars to hit downtown Venice after The Legacy Trail, although staying on bicycle could have been an option. It was difficult to find parking downtown on this gorgeous spring ("winter") day. Nevertheless, the leisurely mile walk from our parking space to our destination afforded us additional time to move our bodies and settle our minds. Heritage Park runs through the median of West Venice Avenue and is filled with large, shady trees and historic pieces.

And then, we arrived. West Venice Avenue terminates at Venice Beach. The Pilot House offers a small assortment of tourist-type beach items and concessions. We treated ourselves to some pretty tasty pretzel bites (with cheese dip, of course!) and a non-alcoholic pina colada smoothie, topped off with a few moments of beachside bliss.
Homeowner Tip
Preventive Pest Control
Florida is home to its fair share of unwanted house guests - and we're not just talking about those midwest visitors who missed their flight home. Palm rats tend to find their way out of palm trees and into roofs. Palmetto bugs may not sound offensive, until you realize it's just a colloquial name for cockroach. Frogs, lizards, snakes... we'll stop there because we do WANT you to spend time here! Pest management begins with proper storage and disposal practices. Coastal Haven can assist with refrigerator cleanouts so that food doesn't have to stay in the fridge or trash until your next visit. Pest management should also include preventive measures like routine spraying and observation by a pest professional.
Coastal Haven Home Watch of Sarasota delivers peace of mind... for your piece of paradise. Share your Sarasota pieces of paradise with us! We'll include them in an upcoming newsletter for other Home Watch clients to consider during their next stay in Sarasota.