The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail in Pinellas County, Florida, is a 37-mile linear (longer than it is wide) trail extending from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, Florida. It runs along an abandoned railroad corridor and when completed will extend to 47 miles. It is a multi-use trail for walkers, joggers, bikers, and skaters. No motorized bicycles are allowed but motorized wheelchairs are welcome. Some of the trail is peaceful and shaded but there is plenty of sun along the route. I have been on it many times, walking and biking, but never without my bottle of water. Before going, you may want to download a map which shows restaurants, hotels, shelter, picnic tables, restrooms, and parking areas among other important information for the area you plan to be in.
There are 10 overpasses and three underpassses along the trail, allowing the safe crossing of intersections. The trail is patrolled by the Pinellas County Security Task Force, Park Rangers, and volunteers. It is maintained by the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources . The Guide to the Pinellas Trail , a pocket-sized flip chart map, can be downloaded or picked up at the local library .
For out of town visitors who prefer bikes or skates to walking, click here to find rental shops along the trail. You will find listings with telephone numbers and addresses in Tarpon Springs , Palm Harbor , Dunedin , Clearwater , Largo , Seminole and St. Pete . You may want to walk to a certain point and then return or plan for someone to drop you off at one location and pick you up at another. My grandchildren and I frequently walked The Pinellas Trail to the mall or a restaurant and had their mother pick us up after.
There are several simple rules to follow so that everyone can enjoy the Pinellas Trail . It is only open in daylight hours, no alcoholic beverages, helmets must be worn for bikers under age 16, and pets must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after. Pedestrians have the right-of-way but Pinellas Trail is clearly marked – bikers on one side, walkers on the other.
For emergencies, there are bright yellow decals approximately 200 feet apart with location numbers (PT0000 to PT-0699) and contact information. The emergency response team will know your exact location and be able to respond quickly. The location numbers can also be used to report any maintenance issues you may come across.
My grandchildren and I planned to do an overnight ride from St. Petersburg to Seminole and home the next day. Unfortunately, before we could finalize our plans, I fell on both of my knees and was unable to get on a bike for several weeks. We definitely plan to do it next summer or over the Easter holiday and my goal is to eventually ride the whole Pinellas County Trail .