Introducing BERT: Bringing the Bonita Estero Rail Trail to Lee County

SUSAN KOSCHALK February 28, 2024

Are you ready to lace up your sneakers and hit the trail? Meet BERT – the Bonita Estero Rail Trail, a game-changer for Lee County communities. As an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) citizen group, BERT is on a mission to bring a 15-mile trail to life, connecting Bonita Springs and Estero along an unused rail corridor.

The Journey:

BERT's journey began in late September of 2022 with a group of dedicated individuals passionate about creating a safe and accessible trail network for residents and visitors alike. Since then, our advocacy group has grown to over 3000 members strong, fueled by the shared vision of enhancing the quality of life in our communities.

The Vision:

The proposed Bonita Estero Rail Trail (BERT) will stretch from just south of the Lee Collier County border to Alico Road, weaving through downtown Bonita Springs and Estero before culminating just north of San Carlos Park. Once completed, BERT will seamlessly connect to the John Yarborough Trail to the north and the Paradise Coast Trail to the south, forming part of the planned 42-mile ConnectLee trail network and the larger 400+ mile Florida Gulf Coast Trail.

Why BERT Matters:

Improve Quality of Life: Our communities deserve open spaces where families can thrive and enjoy the natural beauty of our area. BERT will provide safe trails for walking, running, and biking, fostering a healthier and happier lifestyle for all.

Boost Local Economy: Trails are more than just pathways – they're economic engines. Home values near trails see a significant increase, and local businesses along the trail corridor experience a boost in foot traffic and revenue. By supporting BERT, you're investing in the prosperity of our communities.

Join In:

Ready to be a part of something big? Join Friends of BERT today and receive their newsletter packed with updates and ways to get involved. Whether you contribute your time, make a donation, or simply purchase BERT Gear, your support helps make the trail a reality.

Together, we can pave the way for a brighter, healthier future in Lee County. Let's hit the trail with BERT! Learn more about it HERE.




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