Willow-Ellenton Trail Gains Headway


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 20th, 2016 – Added vigor could be expected on north Manatee homes for sale, particularly to those along the Erie Road stretch of the planned Willow-Ellenton Greenway. State funding has been secured recently for this trail that would run parallel to the old Parrish Palmetto rail corridor starting from Ellenton Gillete Road just west of the new Willow Walk community in Palmetto.

This trail will link parts of Palmetto, Ellenton, and Parrish, covering a 17-mile stretch running roughly parallel from U.S. 301 to Interstate 75. Local officials say the Greenway could possibly extend westward to the historic Gamble Plantation State Park in Palmetto which is currently undertaking an aggressive local development program.

The Willow-Ellenton Greenway is slated for construction in fiscal year 2019. A funding of $511,111 has been approved by the Florida Department of Transportation, which will be sourced from the agency’s Shared-Use, Nonmotorized (SUN) trail program.

First in Greenways Master Plan

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A part of the Manatee County Greenways Master Plan approved in July 2002, the Willow-Ellenton Trail is proposed as recreational, nonmotorized and multipurpose trail. Once it finally pushes through, this project would be the first to be implemented under the county’s greenways master plan.

This plan calls for over 80 miles of trails with priorities given recently to the Willow-Ellenton project and to another trail, the Gateway Greenway. Plans call for both trails to link with neighboring counties.

The Willow-Ellenton rail trail is planned to extend to the Hillsborough County line. The Gateway Greenway would also reach the Hillsborough County line and stretch to the Sarasota County line. Progress on this trail is also expected next year as Manatee County already owns most of the needed real estate.

Nearby Residential Neighborhoods

Besides Willow Walk in Palmetto, Oak Creek in Ellenton, and Forest Creek, along with Harrison Ranch in Parrish, are among the communities near the Willow-Ellenton Trail which stand to benefit much from its completion.

Amongst these four, the widest range of home choices could be found at Harrison Ranch which is a 993-acre development of Pulte Homes located on the north flank of U.S. 301. This community is approved for 1,077 homes, with its current listings in the MLS of Manatee homes for sale at prices ranging from the upper $100s up to the $400s. These residences feature floor plans of between 1,260 square feet and 4,150 square feet, designed with three to five bedrooms.

Harrison Ranch community facilities include a 6,500 square feet amenity center with a full-time activities director. Its features include a fitness center, tennis courts, soccer field, playground, and a heated junior Olympic-size swimming pool.

Willow Walk’s Options

Though relatively smaller at 272 acres with 721 home sites, neighboring Willow Walk also offers attractively priced Manatee homes for sale. Its developer, Maronda Homes, has several new builds here at starting prices in the low $200s for residences with floor areas of approximately 2,000 square feet good for three to four bedrooms.

Many of Willow Walk’s home-sites are on conservation and waterfront lots. The amenities here include a large pool, pavilion, playgrounds, and proximity to local area attractions such as the Ellenton Premium Outlets and of course the upcoming Willow-Ellenton Gateway.