In 2009 the Polk TPO established the Panther Point Trail as its top regional multi-use trail priority and the project was awarded upwards of $3.5M of funding from the Florida Department of Transportation for the design and construction. Construction on Phase One of the Panther Point Trail was recently completed and this portion of the trail was opened to the public earlier this year. The Panther Point Trail provides hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders with five miles of scenic views of Lake Hancock and adjacent wetlands within county and state managed conservation lands along the eastern shore of Lake Hancock. Most of the trail is unpaved and consists of natural and stabilized soils. Currently, access to the trail is provided through the Marshall Hampton Reserve near the intersection of State Road 540 and Thornhill Road. Phase Two of the Panther Point Trail is expected to open late this year and will extend the trail another three and a half miles to the Fort Fraser Trail just north of Earnest M. Smith Boulevard. This connection will provide access to nearly 25 miles of paved and unpaved multi-use trails around Lake Hancock including the trail system within the Circle B Bar Reserve.