The Tamiami Trail has lost its scenic highway designation. The county voted to take it away. Truly one of the most bizarre things that I know about, for a county department to remove a scenic highway designation. It was in the news last week, but I have not had time to mention it before now.
At the park we had already decided a long time back that it was a lost cause and not something that we could win. And it really made no difference for the park whatever happened. Even if the county decided to six-lane highway 41 through the park, we could fight it but could probably do nothing to stop it. Not only was it a battle that we knew we couldn't win, it really wasn't much worth fighting for anyway.
The only regret is that I wish there were more scenic overlooks and stops along the trail. There are only four places to stop and look at gators or have nature walks. This was part of the original plan when the scenic highway designation was created, but the county dropped the ball on it. As soon as it was designated a scenic highway, it was quickly forgotten.
There are businesses along the trail that depend on tourism and the people who come here to see the Everglades. I wish there were more like them, but many have closed in the last 30 years. I wish local tourism boards would do more to advertise and support these businesses and environmental-themed attractions. As far as historical preservation and environmental preservation, Collier County does its best to steer people onto the golf courses instead. If Collier County had its way, all the land along highway 41 would become condos and golf courses. They probably don't even know that most of the 3rd Seminole War happened in Collier County with many forts, trails, and a village sites.