It's Fine to Be on the Can-o-py Walkway
By Ashley Hopkins
Last month marked the end of Tallahassee’s wait for the Canopy Walkway in Lafayette Heritage Trail Park to open and I am so glad the wait is over! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, now is the perfect time. Trees are greening, flowers are blooming, birds are nesting. What better way to see it all than from up atop the tree canopy behind the safety of the boardwalk railing?
The Canopy Walkway can be accessed via the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park or the J.R. Alford Greenway at the end of Pedrick Rd. From Lafayette, it is roughly a 1 mile hike to the walkway. From the Greenway, it’s about a ¼ mile hike. Being that I usually have a 6 year old with little legs in tow, we take the Greenway route.
After a short jaunt along a forest trail, the wooden walkway comes into view on the left and its size and height are shocking at first sight! The covered bridge is the first portion you walk on when coming from the north side and the bridge immediately takes you out onto the boardwalk where you are treated to an awe-inspiring bird’s eye view. Pedestrians have a chance to peep into the tree tops but there is a clearing in the canopy that allows onlookers to look beyond toward the vast expanse of the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park and Piney Z Lake.
The wood plank boardwalk then extends to the left and safely takes you over the CSX railroad track to Lafayette Heritage Trail Park. If you continue your hike, you will be greeted by a truly Floridian landscape of lakes filled with lily pads, looming cypress trees, and water fowl. You might even spot a sunning gator.
For those ready to lace up their hiking boots and give the bridge a test crossing, here are some directions on how to the J.R. Alford Greenway: Take Mahan north until you reach Buck Lake Rd. and take a right. Follow Bucklack until you get to the Pedrick Rd. intersection and take another right. Follow Pedrick Rd. until it dead ends at the Greenway parking lot. Take the trail that heads south east.