Nature trails could soon be part of a bigger loop

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- Some nature trails in Jackson County, Florida may soon be added to the Florida National Scenic Trail.

Jackson County Parks and Recreation Director Rett Daniels has been in talks with the Apalachee Regional Planning Council.

"With the increase in trail activity that we've seen around the state, it'll be a Greenway trail but with waterway opportunities, so I think having a mixed type trail would be a great asset for the county," Daniels said.

A route from Chattahoochee to Bristol has already been mapped out.

If Jackson County trails are added to the loop, more hikers could explore some of the area's most beautiful sights, including Blue Springs, the Chipola River, the Florida Caverns State Park, Bellamy Bridge and Compass Lake.

Daniels said they also have plans to add in campsites by some of the trails.

Daniels is working with Jackson County Administrator Ernie Padgett to draft a letter to the state showing support for the trail.

"When this trail gets interconnected, you know, coming out of the different counties, in Jackson and through it, and then on out, we feel like it's a very, very, very positive thing," Padgett said.

Daniels said the new trail stops would shed a light on some of the scenic sites Jackson County has to offer.

"Bringing in different people from all over to the rural areas can increase economy, and it also gives people a better understanding of the way of life around here, which I think is pretty special for locals here," Daniels said.

The trail would eventually lead hikers into Bay County near the Econfina Creek Water Management area.

On Wednesday, Daniels met with Padgett to start drafting the letter to the state showing support for the trail.

Daniels said the letter will give Jackson County a better chance of receiving grant funding.