Florida has a very successful, very active rails to trails program. In my area, it's possible to ride a bike, horse, or just walk from one small town to another on these nicely maintained trails.
As a green kind of guy, I like the reuse of these old railroad right of ways as linear parks and common areas.
As a strategic thinking kind of guy, I like that these long strips of land are in the public domain, in case we need them for a future mass transit purpose.
Last week, I did a little biking along the Trenton section of the trail.
I parked the JEEP at the Trenton Train Depot and took Emma's new cruiser bicycle for a ride.
It would have been really nice if the scenery was all like this ... it was for a short distance, but the trail quickly opened up to a roadside, non-forested bike path that was okay, but not spectacular.
Trenton is a quaint little town though.
My experience at the trailhead reinforced something I've always wondered about rail trails. I've always wondered about security on and around these trails, because over the years, I've noticed that railways often run through the toughest side of town.
Therefore, when you turn that rail into a trail, you are inviting folks into areas that are sometimes ... nay ... often crime ridden.
My experience went something like this. I parked the JEEP, undid the bike, and took a short ride. When I returned, a group of teens were hanging out in the depot building being loud and apparently incapable of speech without using the "F" word a few times per sentence.
I work with teens, so I'm not quick to judge, but on the other hand ... I work with teens and I know trouble when I see it.
I didn't feel comfortable leaving the easily broken into JEEP there for a longer ride, so I moved it over to a grocery store parking lot before continuing my ride around Trenton. This was very pleasurable and the JEEP was fine when I got back.
Just be careful out there.