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State honors Dunedin for Pinellas Trail and more

The state has honored Dunedin for the downtown section ot the Pinellas Trail and other trails. Times files.

DUNEDIN — The city, with the Pinellas Trail running and looping through its center, was recently named Florida’s first official trail town under a new program administered by the Office of Greenways and Trails, part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

In a news release put out by the city, DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein was quoted as noting Dunedin’s trail "network.’’

"I would like to congratulate the city of Dunedin on being the first trail town in recognition of the incredible network of trails in the community, and the benefits those trails provide residents and visitors year-round," he said.

Used by countless joggers, walkers, cyclists and inline skaters on a daily basis, Dunedin’s piece of the Pinellas Trail, created on the former CSX railroad path, runs through the city’s downtown corridor. According to the release, in the last several years, the use of the Pinellas Trail has contributed to "a sharp rise in the business occupancy rate, from 30 percent to 100 percent. Bike shops, cafes, hotels and other businesses all cater to trail users,’’ it said.

An April celebration is in the works.