On Friday, June 14, the Florida Trail Association, Eglin Air Force Base, and FT Coalition Partners celebrated the Florida Trail’s newest and longest suspension bridge with an inaugural ribbon cutting in Eglin.
Planning and construction of the 70-foot Alaqua “Demon” Bridge over Alaqua Creek has been an extensive, long-term and collaborative project between the U.S. Forest Service, the Florida Trail Association, the Choctawhatchee and Western Gate Chapters, Framing Our Community, Eglin Air Force Base/Jackson Guard and land owners, Chet Winegarner and Jimmy Gainey. The ribbon cutting showcased the significant efforts of these partners and contributors. Evan C. Dertien, Brigadier General and the Commander of the Eglin Air Force Base, attended the ceremony and acknowledged this tremendous accomplishment. It was a true honor to have General Dertien celebrate the opening of Alaqua Bridge with us.
Alaqua Bridge is also called Demon Bridge as it was a demon to build and move 4 times over as shared by one of our FTA volunteers at the ceremony. Over 2,000 total volunteer hours have been dedicated to this project. Their hard work and dedication has paid off, and next season’s Florida Trail
hikers will now enjoy a safe and accessible crossing on a stunning new bridge.
Our next Footprint Magazine will feature a detailed article about the Alaqua Bridge Project, written by Panhandle Trail Program Manager, Adam Fryska. Stay tuned!