Wellen Park’s trails and pathways promote wellness and community, every step of the way

New trail mile markers provide added distance tracking and wayfinding

VENICE, Fla. (May 3, 2022) – Wellen Park continues enhancing its robust trails and pathway network for residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation. With 21 miles of existing multimodal trails for pedestrians, cyclists, joggers and low-speed vehicles woven into Wellen Park, the trail system links residents and the regional community to wellness and each other.

Offering 12-foot-wide pathways, complete with benches and shade, the concrete and asphalt trails also attract cycling and running clubs who appreciate the changing scenery and enhanced safety. Mile markers were also recently installed to enhance the experience.

As an amenity, trails rank at the top of what matters most to homebuyers. “Trails are the number one amenity homebuyers want and they’re the number one amenity residents use most when they move in,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “New residents may never step foot on the tennis court, but they’ll use the trails. The investment in trail systems for generations to come adds value to a community.”

Severance is reminded of the popularity of Wellen Park’s trails every morning on his drive to work. He always sees cyclists, runners and clusters of neighbors walking together.

“I love the various use types and the multigenerational use,” said Severance. “And I’m amazed at how many people wave to each other as they cross paths.”

Wellen Park currently offers nine interconnecting trails. The shortest is a 0.67-mile loop around the West Villages lake, the longest at 6.3 miles circles the West Villages District. Other paths run along Tamiami Trail and Preto Boulevard, loop around Blue Heron Park and connect to the future downtown, CoolToday Park, River Road and the public lakefront Fit Trail and activity stations on the State College of Florida campus.

For Wellen Park residents Geoff and Carol Gurock, a typical day begins with a good walk – a pleasant 4.5-mile constitutional along a trail just steps from their IslandWalk home.

“Before we lived in Wellen Park, we had to go to a university or park to walk,” said Geoff. “Here, it’s right out the door. It’s nice because we can walk anywhere and soon to the new downtown.”

The trail system is so integral to Wellen Park’s focus on wellness and outdoor recreation, it will eventually expand to 40 total miles, including two new trails coming in the next two years – a 2.8-mile loop around the centerpiece Grand Lake in Downtown Wellen and another 3-mile route brushing against a large nature preserve and wetlands. The new trails will deepen the connection to the natural environment and feature crushed stone and natural surfaces.

“People have flexibility to run or hike different trails,” said Severance, an avid runner who often ends his workday on the trails. “No one walk or run is ever the same. One of my favorite things about running here at night is seeing the flora and fauna.”

There are plans for QR-coded signs to introduce visitors to the local wildlife and natural habitats and wayfinding signs where paths cross. Future trails will elevate the connection to nature and community with boardwalks, vistas across wetlands, prairies and ponds, and easy access from existing and future neighborhoods.

“I love the level of interconnectivity our trails provide,” said Severance. “Residents of gated neighborhoods get on the trails and meet residents from other neighborhoods, people they might not meet otherwise. The trails connect everybody.”

Wellen Park also offers community activities centered around the trails and outdoor recreation. As part of its Countdown to Downtown, a monthslong calendar of events and activities celebrating the anticipated fourth quarter-2022 completion of Downtown Wellen, the community hosts monthly runners, walkers and cycling group meetups at the Welcome Center.

The new Wellen Park Race Series launched in March with a St. Patrick’s Day 5K run. Created to inspire the community in reaching physical and mental health goals, the race series will offer 5- to 15-kilometer challenges for runners, walkers and cyclists.

Another challenge, the monthlong “Spring into Summer at Wellen Park” in May, encourages the community to walk, run, bike, skip or roller skate their way to wellness along the trails and at local parks. Participants can win weekly randomly drawn prizes for averaging 7,500 steps or equivalent activity a day. The free online contest, from May 1-31, syncs with participants’ activity trackers, filling in an interactive map of U.S. national parks as they progress. The first person to complete the map wins.

“Our commitment to trails and pathways is paramount,” said Severance. “It’s where wellbeing thrives. Trails have a way of engaging both in the physical aspect of wellness and the mental and psychological benefits of wellbeing.”

Walkability is also emphasized in Downtown Wellen, the vibrant central hub and gathering place for Wellen Park and the region. The pedestrian-friendly destination offers retail shops, waterfront dining, public community spaces, and outdoor recreational opportunities along the lakefront trail and on the water.

The first phase, now under construction, features a picturesque setting of intimate park areas, a large event lawn, Solis Hall for concerts, community and private events, and waterfront destinations.

Diners will discover a variety of cuisine choices in Downtown Wellen – from new American and Italian, steak and seafood to super-premium ice cream, pizza and tavern fare. Restaurants include the flagship The Banyan House nestled along Grand Lake, Mirabella’s Italian Coastal Cuisine, Oak & Stone, Villani & Co. and Bright Ice. The Yard, a collection of shipping containers retrofitted as food kiosks, expands casual food and beverage options with counter service, an outdoor seating area and activity center.

Also coming to Downtown Wellen is Kind Vibes Outfitters with kayak and paddleboard rentals for adventures on the water and bicycles for exploring the walking and jogging trail.

Designed for connections to nature and community, downtown also offers a hammock grove and a lounge area underneath a nearly century-old heritage oak tree. A unique playground blends into its natural surroundings and provides an imagination spot for young visitors.

Consistently ranked among the U.S.’s top fastest-selling master planned communities annually by prominent real estate consulting firm RCLCO, Wellen Park offers a mix of residential, commercial and recreational options. The community currently has approximately 9,500 residents, and at full build-out will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within its three distinct districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.

For more information about living at Wellen Park, call 941-960-7805, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.


Jennifer Hamilton, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, [email protected]

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