The county’s newest trailhead is open.
About a dozen people attended a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning at the facility at the corner of County Road 486 and Shimmer Terrace.
County commissioners in December approved spending $449,980 to build the trailhead. The bulk of that will be paid for through $150,000 matching grants from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the county.
Located near the Meadowcrest subdivision, the trailhead includes bathrooms, a pavilion, parking, tables and other amenities.
The new trailhead is yet another link that will accommodate bikers and hikers who eventually will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted trek from the Withlacoochee State Trail on the east side of the county all the way west to Three Sisters Trail in Crystal River.
County Commission Chairman Jeff Kinnard said trail amenities not only benefit locals but also tourists, who now have more reasons to stay longer in Citrus County and spend money.
The new trailhead is constructed on a remainder parcel of land originally acquired for the C.R. 486 road-widening project and is the westernmost of the three constructed along the 13 miles of that road.
It will be a connection hub for access to the State Road 44 bike lanes, the C.R. 491 multi-use path, the Withlacoochee State Trail and — once constructed — the path along the Suncoast Parkway extension to C.R. 486.
Kinnard said it will also provide a safe way of connecting area residences to the nearby YMCA, places of employment, shopping, medical offices, and various trail networks.