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Gertrude's Walk

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Gertrude's Walk in Downtown Orlando is a bike/walk trail that has been recently renovated with new lighting, an upgraded concrete pathway and beautiful new greenery. It has a rich history and is a great addition to the Downtown Orlando trail system.

View Gertrude's Walk in a larger map

Back in the late 1850's the city was being surveyed by Mr. Sweet he was, at the time, responsible for the city planing. He decided that its largest street should bare the name of his daughter, Gertrude Sweet (1863-1945). She was once named "The most beautiful woman in Orange County". She was married to Henry Newell (1862-1940) and often played the piano in his orchestra. You can visit the site of their home at 225 East Robinson Street. The home has long since been demolished. On the site now is a large office building that is home to a multitude of businesses.

About 30 years later in the 1880's the railroad company purchased the land from the city to build railroad tracks that would allow connection of central Florida to the East Coast. These are the same tracks that still run through the city today. After the tracks were in place, the once large Gertrude Avenue was reduced to a small sidewalk and renamed Gertrude's Walk. It was left as it was for many years until it received a facelift in sometime in the 1980's; nearly 100 years after it was reduced from a grand avenue to a small sidewalk. It remained much as it was until its most recent rejuvenation in 2010 where it was regraded and surfaced, the old palm trees that ran in the middle of the path were removed and the lighting improved.

View Gertrude's Walk - Planned Expansion in a larger map

Gertrude's Walk is now part of a larger trail project; the Orlando Urban Trail. In addition to it's upgrades, Gertrude's Walk is also being extended. In its current form it is a short 3 blocks, running parallel to the railroad tracks, starting at Church street and ending at Washington. As part of the expansion it is planned to extend the walk south from Church St. for one block to South Street, and north 3 blocks to Livingston where it will meet the Lynx Central Station and join the Orlando Urban Trail when it is expanded south from its current end point at Magnolia.

Editors Note: Thanks to Richard Forbes of the City of Orlando Historical Division for providing me with Gertrude's history.

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