Newcomers blaze a trail at TrailMarkCommunity welcomes new families as newly added amenities near completion


When Krista Cook and Kevin Upthegrove decided they wanted a change of scenery from their former residence in the bitter cold outside Chicago, their search led them to the “Sunshine State,” where the two began looking into homes in St. Johns County.

Cook wasn’t immediately sold on pre-existing communities – but St. Augustine’s historic sites, cuisine, beaches and school system caught the family’s eye. Once she’d seen the greenery, lakes and bike paths offered at TrailMark near World Golf Village, it was decided: She and her husband would build their dream home, complete with crown moldings, gourmet kitchen and a large yard, and become “trailblazers” in the new community.

“TrailMark got us from the moment we drove in,” Cook said. “We felt that TrailMark would be an amazing place to raise our family and set up permanent residence.”

GreenPointe Communities Vice President of Land Development Chris Kuhn said, “We are thrilled to welcome our first ‘TrailBlazers’ to TrailMark and look forward to our new residents creating many wonderful memories in their new homes.”

The quickly growing master-planned community is now home – or home-to-be – to roughly 40 families. Its builders offer single-family, one- and two-story homes. Currently, there are three furnished model homes available to view, two of which are made by Jacksonville-based Landon Homes, while the third is by D.R. Horton. Both builders have several quick move-in homes under construction, with homes priced from the mid-$200,000s and up.

According to Landon Homes Sales Consultant Troy Jewell, the neighborhood’s traditional designs have caught the eye of homebuyers looking for less expansive spaces.

“Our traditional neighborhood design homes have really sparked quite a bit of interest to those buyers who are looking to downsize in yard space as well as in the square footage of their home,” Jewell said. “Buyers feel like they can take a step back in time and enjoy the large front porch, relaxed style of living. This front porch style of home has added a unique look and feel to TrailMark.”

That appeal is bolstered by the community’s location along Six Mile Creek and its preserved surroundings. It’s an area that served as a big draw for Cook and Upthegrove and their children, Emma and Owen, who enjoy the bike riding and nature walks afforded by their new home.

“Sunset bike rides, nature walks with the kids, the clearest starry night skies …” Cook said. “Meeting such wonderful neighbors and friends, listening to owls in the evening off our back porch – this is truly a family’s wish come true. I would definitely consider this my dream home.”

TrailMark intends to enhance the natural experience with its planned new amenities; set to open in the summer are a welcome house, amenity center and camp house featuring a fitness studio and lagoon-style pool surrounded by the community’s oak hammocks and lakes. According to TrailMark, the community will include a mixture of sports courts and play fields, and the completion of the trail system and kayak launch are underway.

TrailMark is growing into three new neighborhoods and expanding its home builder offerings this year. The second phase of landscaping and pocket park expansion will follow, and the St. Johns County School District is building a new elementary school adjacent to the community.

Cook said she is looking forward to the changes to come and to meeting new residents hoping to find the same thing she and her family found in TrailMark: their dream home.

“Family or retirees, we all seem to want the same thing,” she said. “And that’s a beautiful community to call home.”