Legacy Trail surrey ride program to start again on Jan. 9

Friends of the Legacy Trail partners with Sarasota County staff to provide the free excursions, but pre-registration is required

The Surry Ride Program is offered by the Friends of the Legacy Trail. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The popular surrey ride program will be returning to The Legacy Trail starting Jan. 9, the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department has announced. County staff provides the program in partnership with Friends of the Legacy Trail (FLT), a news release explains. The surrey rides are “a fun option for residents and visitors who are mobility-challenged or might otherwise be unable to enjoy the experience of riding on the trail,” the release points out.

FLT volunteers will pedal the surrey and passengers on a free 45-minute trip that will leave Laurel Park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Jan. 9 through March 28, with spaces available each day at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, the release continues. Riders may sit back and enjoy the excursion as they travel on a four-passenger, four-wheeled, canopy-covered surrey, the release adds. The ride features information about The Legacy Trail, including its history and its surroundings.

Pre-registration is required by calling 486-2757, the release emphasizes. Space is limited to four participants per ride, per time slot, and participants must sign a waiver, the release adds. “Registrants must have the ability to climb up one step onto the surrey bicycle,” the release stresses. Riders should wear sun protection, a light jacket on cooler days and sturdy walking shoes, the release adds.

Passengers meet inside the Sandra Sims Terry Community Center at Laurel Park, which is located at 509 Collins Road in Laurel. The event will be cancelled if it rains and at times when it is very cold, the release points out. For information on weather cancellations, contact Laurel Park on the day of a scheduled ride: 486-2753.

All Sarasota County programs prohibit participants from smoking or bringing pets, the release notes.

“The surrey ride program has been well received by passengers, and FLT volunteer pedalers have benefited greatly from meeting and visiting with the riders,” organizers say in the release. FLT donated the surrey to Sarasota County to promote the Legacy Trail and other county parks, the release explains.

“The Legacy Trail is the regional backbone of a recreational and nature-based trail system connecting communities across Sarasota County and stretching into neighboring Charlotte County,” the release notes. It offers several areas for people to stop, rest and learn about its history “or just enjoy the natural beauty,” the release adds. The Trust for Public Land and Sarasota County recently announced the purchase of 2.7 miles of former railroad right of way to extend the trail toward downtown Sarasota. (See the related story in this issue.)

For more information, call county Contact Center at 861-5000 and ask for Legacy Trail surrey rides or visit legacytrailfriends.org or scgov.net/parks.