Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector


shared-use trail system


historic railroad conversion

2 years

ahead of schedule


Leveraged existing infrastructure, a concurrent design and construction schedule, and environmental protection processes to deliver the final trail two years ahead of schedule


Revitalized an abandoned circus company railroad track, deserted buildings, and a Florida DMV test track into community amenities that preserve historic and environmental spaces while saving time and cost


Responded to local energy and feedback around trail development, producing a continuous trail that promotes safety, recreation, and connections between local neighborhoods, schools, and businesses

The Legacy Trail is a creative project built to enhance community wellness while preserving local history and the environment. The community generated enthusiasm for decades around the trail’s construction and development, resulting in this finished project that revitalizes abandoned areas, protects green infrastructure, and facilitates neighborhood and regional connections. After the addition of the Legacy Trail Extension and the North Port Connector, the entire Legacy Trail system is now a 30-mile winding corridor where pedestrians and bicyclists can travel safely between North Port, Venice, and Sarasota, Florida.

Flexible and Accelerated Scheduling

The initial phase of the Legacy Trail Extension design and construction was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding unexpected complications to the permitting process that threatened the project schedule. Despite this interruption, the Kimley-Horn team adapted the schedule and ran concurrent stages, allowing for construction of one phase while another phase was still being designed. This simultaneous phase production expedited the completion of the trail two years earlier than expected, and the Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector were officially open in September 2022.

Legacy Trail Historic and Environmental Revitalization

Part of the trail extension and construction involved the incorporation of an 18.5-mile stretch of historic railroad tracks. This railway was previously used for almost a century as transportation by a circus company, and our team worked to integrate the complex historic site with green infrastructure around the tracks.

The team also revitalized bridge structures, a neglected building, and a decommissioned Florida Division of Motor Vehicles test track. These decisions promoted the accelerated schedule and preserved historic elements that speak to the life of the local area.  

Uniting community considerations and environmental wellness, Kimley-Horn provided the following services for the Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector:  

The nine-mile Legacy Trail Extension and five-mile North Port Connector offer pedestrians and bicyclists the opportunity to travel between multiple cities and access schools and parks throughout the region. The trail also provides amenities—including parking, restrooms, playgrounds, bicycle repair stations, and pickleball courts—and integrates technological safety features like high-intensity activated crosswalk and rectangular rapid flashing beacon crossings.

The Legacy Trail Extension and North Port Connector have welcomed many more visitors since the project’s completion—a true testament to the trail’s community impact and environmental preservation that can now be enjoyed for 30 continuous miles.

Project Recognition

Quick Facts


Sarasota County


North Port, Venice, & Sarasota, FL


“Kimley-Horn’s outstanding services and individual team members were essential in helping bring this world class project to reality. The project has had a transcending effect on the whole County and has raised favorable expectations for more improvements like this.”

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