Sunday, June 29, 2008

Support Grows for Protecting Tourism Industry

Two articles published in the past few days that may be of interest to anyone involved in the tourism industry, particularly in Florida:

Tourism Works to Keep Funds, The Lakeland Ledger, June 29, 2008

Supporters Line Up for Tourism Bill, Tallahassee Democrat, June 26, 2008

Have a comment about Pasco tourism or a suggestion for Adventures of a Pasco Tourist? Click the comment link below and share your thoughts!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pasco Unveils Upper Cotee River Preserve

Have you ever wrapped your arms around a 200-year-old piece of history? Pretty soon, visitors to the Upper Cotee River Preserve in central Pasco County will be able to do just that. The preserve is home to an enormous cypress tree estimated to be between 200 and 300 years old and listed in The Historic Places of Pasco County.

Experts believe the cypress may have been spared by loggers who cut down hundreds of similar trees in the early 1900s because the side of the tree was damaged by a lightning strike. Soon, the ancient cypress - and the rest of the 122-acre preserve - will be accessible to visitors through a network of hiking trails and boardwalks.

Pasco County purchased the property, located north of State Road 52 and east of Shady Hills Road, through its Environmental Lands Aquisition & Management Program or ELAMP. That means the property will be protected against development and preserved for future generations to enjoy and explore. The county recently received a 50 percent reimbursement of the acquisition costs from a Florida Communities Trust grant. Funds from the grant also will be used to complete the renovations and site improvements.
Volunteers and county staff have spent months clearing trails and renovating a house on the property to use as a nature center. Eventually, officials hope to link trails in the preserve to the nearby Suncoast Trial.

With dozens of species of birds and wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, gopher tortoises, barred owl and red-shouldered hawk, the Upper Cotee River Preserve is another great addition to the natural areas that make Pasco County such an attractive destination for bird-watchers and other nature-lovers. While the preserve is not yet open to the public, plenty of other parks and wilderness areas are. Visit Pasco Tourism to find places to hike, bike, canoe and camp.

Check out this report from Bay News 9 on the project and stay tuned to Adventures of a Pasco Tourist to find out when the preserve will be open to the public.

Have a comment on the Upper Cotee Preserve or a suggestion for Adventures of a Pasco Tourist? Click the comment link below and share your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Family Fitness Weekend Brings Athletes to Pasco

What better reason is there to get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning than to challenge yourself mentally and physically on one of the toughest fitness courses in the state? Or at least kick back and watch other, more qualified people challenge themselves on that course!

Hundreds of people did just that on a recent weekend in Pasco County. The Publix Family Fitness Weekend, held at St. Leo University on June 14 & 15, drew athletes and their families from around the state and as far away as Kentucky, Louisiana and Hawaii.
Participants swam 600 meters across Lake Jovita, biked ten miles around the campus and surrounding neighborhoods and ran three miles. Sound crazy? Well, guess what factor was cited as one of the best aspects of the course? The hilly terrain of east Pasco County, making it one of the most challenging courses in the state.

"The landscape in Pasco presents a unique challenge to those who are accustomed to flat bike courses,'' explains the event website. "The rolling hills of Pasco County are a favorite for amateur and professional athletes. This 10-mile bike course is going to challenge everyone from amateur to professionals. With so many athletes used to flat, fast-paced bike courses, this should be one exciting bike race.''

That kind of rave review from athletes and event organizers has helped Pasco County become one of the most up-and-coming sports destinations in the country.

Already, the county hosts dozens of events throughout the year, including championship lacrosse, tennis, golf, bowling, figure and speed skating. Many more sporting events are in the planning stages.

One recent addition to Pasco's fall lineup is Powerman Florida, to be held on Oct. 4 in San Antonio. Powerman is a world-class duathlon (run, bike, run) series and Powerman Florida will be the first qualifying event for the Powerman World Championships in Switzerland.

Stay tuned to Pasco County's Sports Page for the latest additions to the Sports Calendar and check out more photos from the Sprint Kids' Triathlon at the Family Fitness Weekend below.

Do you have a comment on Pasco Tourism or a suggestion for Adventures of a Pasco Tourist? Click on the "Comments" link below and share your thoughts!
Have a comment about Pasco Tourism? Click the "Comments" link above to discuss great places to visit in Pasco County or to recommend a destination for an upcoming Adventure.