Letter to the editor: City should maintain existing trails


This past weekend, I got lost a second time along the Cypress Trail that begins at the edge of Dillon Park. This time, it was because of a detour around a construction site that had only one sign pointing the way, despite there being several turns along the detour route. I went too far down the side of the road, realized I probably need to backtrack, found what appeared to be a lightly used trail and followed it into the brush to a clearing that went nowhere and backtracked again. Finally, I found the continuation of the trail and was on my way again.

The first time I got lost was with my dad years ago in a neighborhood off the trail because there were no signs pointing the way. You essentially need to guess the way in several places. For a clearly marked trail at the beginning, the few miles at the end of the trail are disappointingly vague and will likely bring you into unknown neighborhoods. I saw several people at the beginning of the trail and no one near the end by the golf course, probably because it isn't clear where to walk. I was concerned I would get lost along this trail again, and it turns out I wasn't wrong to be.

Maybe the city or county can invest in appropriate signage for this trail in the future. I am sure the trail got more use during the pandemic, and hopefully no one had to spend a night in the woods as a result of this signage issue. If we can spend $600 to hand out Christmas decoration contest gift cards, I feel like the city can afford to keep its residents from getting lost along the Cypress Trail. If the city and county want people to use the amenities they initially pay for, those amenities should be maintained and given decent signage.

One part of this trail also seems to be a used-tire dumping ground, which is unsightly and disappointing in an otherwise beautiful wooded area. Other areas along the trail seem to be a magnet for discarding other old car parts. This trail could be an attractive, well-used asset for our county if properly maintained. Hopefully, the new $4 million Shot Pouch Greenway trail connecting Dillon Park and Swan Lake Iris Gardens that our Penny for Progress tax dollars are being used for will get more attention than the Cypress Trail seems to be getting by the city. It seems a shame our tax money is being used to build a new trail while an existing one seems to have been forgotten.