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May 21, 2014

Heritage Trail now open in Live Oak

Hope of culture drawing commerce

Live Oak —

The now open Heritage Trail will attract folks to the area for recreation, exercise and commerce, according to Live Oak Community Redevelopment Agency chair Keith Mixon. The 12-foot wide, two-thirds mile long concrete trail runs from East Howard Street (US 90) to Helvenston Street, where folks can cross Helvenston to a sidewalk that will either direct them toward the city, or to Heritage Park and Gardens. 

“Possibly one day the future view is to take this all the way to The Spirit of The Suwannee (Music Park),” said Mixon. “We have another segment that we want to put in place early next year from Duval Street to the interstate.”

The next phase will include landscaping the trail with oaks, native plants, several park benches and lighting to create a place for people to congregate, walk, jog and ride. 

“Our vision, and we’re in the early planning stages, is to have an art festival in early October along the trail,” said Mixon. “We have provided enough space to provide tents out there for vendors.”

Mixon said during that weekend he hopes to bring in jazz and blues bands.

“Personally, I’d like to see Live Oak become a destination for festivals throughout the year,” said Mixon. “There are other places in other parts of the state like West Florida that do festivals once a month and have found that it’s a part of economic development.”

He said the festivals bring people to an area and that Live Oak needed to find a way to become that kind of destination. He said the word is out and popularity is picking up. Mixon said he has had people passing through Live Oak tell him Heritage Trail was going to be a hit and folks from Lake City have already begun coming to Live Oak to walk it in either early morning or late evening. He said the canopy of trees is beginning to grow back over the trail.

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