Great waterfront cities throughout the world offer open access to the shoreline with boardwalks, paths and trails that invite recreation, rejuvenation and reflection. A continuous Biscayne Bayfront walkway has been the topic of lively discussion for decades, but so far has been realized only in fragments. Renewed public interest in the idea has reinvigorated support for greater pedestrian and bicycle access to the shore. Finally, residents, waterfront municipalities, developers and other interests are joining together to create the shoreline walking and biking trail, which ultimately will provide an interconnected greenway connecting parks, neighborhoods, business districts and retail areas all along the waterfront.
The trail will link existing Bayfront walkways in downtown Miami, Coconut Grove and other parts of the county. It will take advantage of the many street ends along the Bay shoreline to create better physical and visual access points. Longer-term plans call for creating visitor amenities along the walkway – benches, potential fishing platforms and piers, restrooms, parking facilities and boating ramps that will allow residents and tourists to slide a boat into the water.
For many people, what’s even better than being near the water is being on or in the water. Paddling a kayak or canoe lets you feel the waves, see the fish and get really close to the beautiful Bay environment. There’s no better way to explore peaceful mangrove creeks, view wading birds or enjoy a skyline sunset. Many people already paddle canoes and kayaks through Bay waters, but paddling will soon be much easier for everyone, thanks to a public-private partnership to create a countywide blueway plan that maps easy-to-difficult paddling courses, identifies existing launch/pull-off sites, and recommends sites for trail improvements such as trailheads, parking, security, camping, platforms and ramps throughout the county’s waterways.