Over the past week or so, if you follow us on Instagram, Facebook and elsewhere, you’ve read how we’ve been raving about the new bridge that’s now a local must-do. If you’re a regular to the area of town where the new bridge is, you’ve likely been well aware of the construction taking place for quite some time now. You’re also probably loving the awesome extra now included while biking, running and walking through the park. If however, you’re not familiar with this area, you may be trying to find this seemingly hidden bridge everyone is talking about and feeling frustrated. We’ve had lot’s of questions along these lines over the past two weeks as we’ve been sharing pictures, so we thought we’d try to help clear things up so you too can go enjoy!
There are two ways to access the bridge. One is through the Piney Z neighborhood. For the other, and how we like to go when our family visits, go to the J.R. Alford Greenway by heading East on Mahan. Before the Tallahassee Antique Auto Museum comes on your left, you’ll get to Pedrick Road. Turn right on to Pedrick. Continue down Pedrick until you see the entrance for the J.R. Alford Greenway straight ahead. There is a large sign that says the name of the destination. Park in the designated space. If you’re looking straight ahead and see the sign in front of you, start walking towards the right. There is wooden gating around different paths. Start down the path/trail that is directly to the right. Before getting on the trail you’ll walk through the parking lot a bit more and through the green space a tad as well. There will be a nonoperational mister (water sprayer) to your left as you start down the green space before the trail. Follow that trail for about a 5-10 minute walk and you’ll see the bridge.
We like to visit from the greenway because there’s so much to see and enjoy there as well. We like to bring the dogs and kids out, pack a picnic, and make a day of this adventure. There are wooded trails to enjoy, equestrians and bikers to watch go by, huge open spaces, beautiful for capturing great photos, running free, tossing a ball, flying remote control planes and more. From the bridge, watch for wildlife like the gator we spotted on our last visit. Tons of outdoor fun for all. You’ll always leave feeling lucky to live in a town with such awesome parks and trails so easily accessible and well maintained.
Questions about directions? Comments after your visit? Share this and anything else in the comment section below. Below are a few more pictures for your enjoyment. Please feel free to share pictures exactly as you see them here. Do not crop text from images. Thank you.
About the Project
Thank you park patrons for your continued patience for the temporary trail closures! Construction at the bridge is moving along despite the summer rains. The contractor has completed installing all of the pilings for the southern boardwalk and has now begun the decking. Occasionally, there will be temporary short-term closures of the trail between the parking lot and the east dam to facilitate construction deliveries. These will be noticed with signage placed in the parking lot. We realize that the trail closures are not popular with many users, but they are necessary to keep both the public and the construction workers safe. Please abide by the signs and give the crew space. This keeps them and you safe. We appreciate your assistance and patience. We anticipate construction being complete by February 2014.
To literally bridge a gap in the network and safely connect the City’s Lafayette Heritage Trail Park and Leon County’s J.R. Alford Greenway, the City of Tallahassee has started work on a pedestrian bridge over the CSX railroad tracks.
The project will provide a safe, vital link in the Tallahassee Greenway and Trail System while preserving trees, creating scenic vistas and building a structure in harmony with a natural setting.
During construction, trails leading from the East Dam on Piney Z to the J.R. Alford Greenway will be closed. Users may access the Greenway by taking Pedrick Road to the main Greenway entrance. From the other side, users may access Lafayette Heritage Trail Park by taking Conner Blvd. to Heritage Trail Park Blvd. and entering the park’s main entrance.
Trails are not officially designated across the CSX tracks, nor has CSX granted permission for the currently unapproved “at grade” crossing. Users, however, frequently cross the tracks. The existing railroad crossing is void of safety facilities and sight distance along the track is limited. Eight or more trains pass through the park at a high rate of speed each day.
The contractor for the project is Nature Bridges, JD James Inc., a Tallahassee-based company that specializes in top down timber construction and building in sensitive environments. The current design for the 133-foot bridge includes a prefabricated box truss bridge of weathering steel with a metal roof and wooden boardwalk.