The bridge rebuilding and trail refurbishments came at a cost of approximately $117,000.

Forestry officials hosted a grand re-opening of McQuage Bayou Multi-Use Trail on July 21 on County Road 283N.

The trail, which was originally established as equestrian-use only, had been closed to the public because of deterioration of two large bridges along the path that made it unsafe.

"The trail was closed for approximately four years in order for us to secure the funds needed for refurbishment and to completely rebuild the bridges," said Hannah Bowers, wildfire mitigation specialist. "The bridges were not safe for the public and could not be refurbished. Once the trail was refurbished, the bridges complete and safe for travels, the decision was made to re-open the trail as not only an equestrian trail but for all to enjoy."

The bridge rebuilding and trail refurbishments came at a cost of approximately $117,000.

Thanks to major improvements to the bridges, the trail itself and a refurbished trailhead, the McQuage Bayou Trail is now open and available to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.

"Florida has long been recognized as having one of the finest and diversified state forest systems," said Chipola Forestry Center Manager Johnny Sabo. "This re-opening will be the ultimate way to immerse yourself in Florida's forests while honoring Point Washington's 25 years as a State Forest."

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forest land, and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.

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