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Orange Belt Trail

Pasco County begins a study to build a 37-mile multi-purpose trail from Trinity to Trilby

About the project

Pasco County is conducting a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study and Trail Segmentation Plan for the Orange Belt Trail (OBT). The OBT is a proposed regional multiuse trail spanning approximately 37 miles through Pasco County. The OBT will provide regional connectivity and enhance the existing and planned regional trail network by providing key connections to the Coast-to-Coast Trail, Starkey Trail, Suncoast Trail, and Withlacoochee Trail. In addition, the OBT will link communities such as Trinity, Odessa, Land O’Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and Dade City to help fuel economic transformation along the trail corridor. The trail is proposed to be a 12- to 14-foot-wide paved multi-use trail that will generally follow the path of the Orange Belt Railway. The OBT is envisioned to be off the roadway, where feasible, and follow natural features to the greatest extent possible. It will be open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and may even include equestrian accommodations in certain areas.

Orange Belt Railroad San Antonio, Florida

Study Area Map

Click map to enlarge

Potential impacts of Orange Belt Trail evaluated, along with public input and potential costs. Evaluation scores and results are as follows:

The evaluation scores reflect diverse criteria, including cultural resources, potential effects to natural resources, social considerations, potential implementation costs, and input from the public and stakeholders. Lower scores represent higher ranked alternatives (similar to golf) with the lowest possible score being 24 and the highest possible score being 72. Some measures, like Access to Schools, are positively scored (i.e., high score = 1). Other measures, like Potential Impacts to Wetlands, are negatively scored (i.e., high score = 3).

A breakdown of the six summary categories are:

  • Cultural Resources – 3 criteria with scoring range of 3 to 9
  • Physical and Natural Resources – 4 criteria with scoring range of 4 to 12
  • Socioeconomic Considerations – 2 criteria with scoring range of 2 to 6
  • Qualitative Measures – 6 criteria with scoring range of 6 to 18
  • Implementation Cost – 1 criterion with scoring range of 3 to 9
  • Community and Stakeholder Input – 2 criteria with scoring range of 6 to 18

It is important to note that potential costs, community support, and stakeholder input were weighted higher than the other criteria. Overall, technical evaluation criteria represent 75% of the total score, with community and stakeholder input comprising 25%.    

Following completion of the alternatives evaluation, Pasco County and the project team have decided to move forward with detailed analyses of Alternatives A, B1, C1, and C3. These have been combined into the recommended alternative alignment shown on the map below, with newly defined segments. Note that more detailed analyses for segments of the Orange Belt Trail west of US 41 are being conducted as part of other studies.   

Recommended Alternative

Public Workshops

One of the county’s goals for this project is to include Pasco County residents and potential trail users in the design of this trail from the beginning of the study. To promote community engagement, the county held public workshops in December, April, and August to hear from residents directly. The workshops were in an open house format and informal. However, there was a short presentation about the project during each workshop. For those who couldn’t attend, the presentation and display materials are posted below:

August Meeting Materials

April 2023 Workshop Materials

December 2022 Workshop Materials

OBT Public Meeting Photo
August Public Meeting
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Paid for by Penny for Pasco