One of the best things about riding bike trails is stumbling upon something unexpected, and that’s exactly what happened when riding the Nature Coast Trail from Fanning Springs to Trenton. As we approached the historic Trenton Train Station, I noticed what looked like a “barn quilt” painted not on a barn, but on a business, across the street from the station.
The watermelon and sunflower pattern certainly is appropriate for this portion of north Florida as watermelon was a crop commonly transported on the railway connecting Trenton to Jacksonville. And then look what we found on the other side of the railroad depot.
Not just one, but a series of quilt patterns painted on the old brick building and information about the Trenton Quilt Festival, an annual event since 2014
Each quilt is accompanied by a plaque with an explanation about the pattern as well as historical information.
Displayed on the building housing the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe is a patriotic collection of painted quilts.
Even though I’m not a quilter, I couldn’t resist stepping inside the quilt shop to take a peek and found the walls inside covered with more works of art as well as a cafe serving soup, salad, sandwiches, quiche and pastries.
Down the street, even the local florist participated with what else? A flower basket quilt
While we saw over a dozen of these painted quilts, we barely scratched the surface. Barn quilts, actually painted on barns, can be found hiding in fields throughout Gilchrist County.
And while Florida’s first Quilt Trail originated in Trenton and Gilchrist County; Live Oak, Branford, White Springs and Madison are all home to additional artwork on a barnless quilt trail. To learn more about the 2016 Quilt Festival, click here to check out there website.