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Blountstown Officially Designated A Gateway Community

The City of Blountstown was officially designated a Gateway Community on the Florida Trail Saturday at a ceremony held outside the M & B Train Depot Museum along the Blountstown Greenway. “Our local residents use this trail on a daily basis and we have people from other areas coming here just for the trail,” Kristy Halley Terry noted during the ceremony. City Manager James Woods pointed out that future generations will be grateful this portion of our community was preserved for them to enjoy. Florida Trail Association officials, along with Mayor Winston Deason, City Council members, Tony Shoemake and David Blair, and Blountstown Greenway volunteers, were also on hand for the ceremony. As a Gateway Community, hikers, bicyclists, and others enjoying the trail are encouraged to make Blountstown a destination on their trek, stopping here to enjoy the rivers, restaurants, shops and other amenities. With thousands utilizing the Florida Trail for a nature based trip, the Gateway designation creates an opportunity for local residents to create businesses that will entice eco-tourists to spend some time and money in our community. Blountstown is among only 10 Gateway Communities on the Florida Trail. The list includes Belleview, Clewiston, Crestview, Inverness, Milton, Moore Haven, Okeechobee, Pahokee, and White Springs. When hikers and other trail users are planning their adventure, they go to the Florida Trail Association website for guidance on where to stop and these 10 Gateway Communities are featured. The Florida Trail has grown to over 1500 miles stretching across the state. With Calhoun County a part of this trail, opportunity awaits to serve the eco-tourism industry. If you’d like to try a new venture, Kristy Halley Terry at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce can offer much assistance and guidance on getting your idea off the ground. Give her a call at 674-4519 or email kristy@calhounco.org For more on the Florida Trail, go to www.floridatrail.org

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