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Sunday, April 7, 2013

$13M later, Heritage Trail looking good [keysnews.com]


With miles and miles of new improvements, the Overseas Heritage Trail is proving that getting there is more than half the fun for locals and tourists.
The millions of dollars in improvements to the trail over the past several years is turning the Florida Keys into an international bike tour destination.
Montana-based Adventure Cycling brings small groups of cyclists to the Keys. The group offers a 10-day biking adventure that starts in Hollywood, winds through the Keys and ends in Fort Myers, said Jack Pettry, an Adventure Cycling tour guide. The riders carry their own gear and mostly camp while in the Florida Keys, Pettry said.
The trip is offered twice a year, once in the winter and once in late fall.
"The Keys have really become a destination for cyclists," said Jennifer Milyko, who maps routes for Adventure Cycling. "The conditions have really improved. Ten years ago, it wasn't as pleasant ... . The tours in the winter and fall really fill up fast. It's a great way to see the sights."
National tour companies are not the only businesses reaping the benefits of the improvements to the trail.
Key Largo Bike and Adventure Tours has seen its business increase as the trail expands, owner Mark Terrill said. The company rents bikes and other equipment and offers tours throughout the Keys.

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