The Best Stuff As our prime hiking season fades into memory, the upside is that it becomes writing season for us. It's time to take that collected re

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The Best Stuff

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As our prime hiking season fades into memory, the upside is that it becomes writing season for us. It's time to take that collected research from the past four months and turn it into something that will delight you.

We've started by posting detailed hiking information for "the best stuff" you'll find on the Florida Trail, beginning with our recent hikes in Northwest Florida. These will be a part of our long-awaited book, Florida Trail Hikes, which ended up delayed due to family issues and the need to produce a history book in time for the 50th anniversary of the Florida Trail last fall. You can follow along on this new web page, or on our Facebook page as we post each new hike.

Although our prime hiking season is over, don't let the heat, humidity, and insects deter you from the outdoors. Now's the time of year to enjoy Florida's many nature trails, especially in our state parks. Go early to beat the heat, and be sure to use insect repellent.

Cheers, Sandra & John
PS. Want a heads-up when this new full color book is available? Sign up here.

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Florida Trail News

Gap

Closing the Big Bend Gap in the Florida Trail
This is a complex issue with a long backstory. For 32 years, the Florida Trail followed a negotiated corridor through private timberlands between the Suwannee and Aucilla rivers. In the summer of 2015, that corridor was abandoned and hikers were stuck with a 44-mile roadwalk. Here's our recap of the history of the corridor, what's going on today to close the gap, and our opinion on what should be done, as well as an opportunity for you to share your feedback on the issue.

Community Outreach Coordinator needed
Are you a creative person who loves the outdoors AND has a passion for the Florida Trail? Then this job with the Florida Trail Association is for you. Resumes are being accepted now until the position is filled. Job description and application information on the FTA website.

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Trail News

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REI Winter Park

Second Florida REI store opens May 12
Join the Grand Opening Celebration the weekend of May 12-14 at the new REI store along US 17/92 in Winter Park. We've driven by recently and were astounded by the sheer size of the store: it's a two-story standalone building just like the store we visited in Portland, Oregon. We look forward to sharing workshops with you there in the future! Learn more about the grand opening.

No bear hunt in 2017
Citing public opinion, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to table discussing any plans for another statewide bear hunt for the next two years. Read the article in the Tampa Bay Times.

Bicycle trail will soon wrap around Lake Monroe
That bike path that's been steadily growing out of the Sanford Riverwalk towards the zoo along US 17/92 and along SR 415 over the St. Johns River from Lake Mary Blvd towards Osteen has a goal of making a big loop around Lake Monroe by next year. Read the article in the Orlando Sentinel

University of Miami tries to clear path for Walmart in rare forest
There are very few pine rocklands remaining in Florida, as this karst-dependent habitat was one of the first to be destroyed for residences and farms as the Miami metro grew. The largest remaining privately owned pine rockland in the world is slated to be cleared for a Walmart, and UM sold it to the developer for that purpose. Public comment is requested. Read the article in the Miami Herald.

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Newest Hikes

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Florida Trail, Aucilla River
Endearingly scenic, surprisingly rugged in places, and unlike any other piece of the Florida Trail statewide, this 9.3-mile trek along the Aucilla River showcases some of Florida’s top natural features in one hike.

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Florida Trail, Aucilla Sinks
Endearingly scenic, surprisingly rugged in places, and unlike any other piece of the Florida Trail statewide, this 9.3-mile trek along the Aucilla River showcases some of Florida’s top natural features in one hike.

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Florida Trail, Apalachee Bay
Hugging the Big Bend coastline, this 13.4 mile hike through Aucilla WMA and St. Marks NWR offers some of the most breathtaking panoramas you’ll find along the Florida Trail, and a profusion of wildlife.

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Florida Trail, Shepherd Spring
Hugging coastal swamps and marshes before plunging into them at the Cathedral of Palms, this popular 5.3 mile hike along the Florida Trail centers on Shepherd Spring, a natural treasure within St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

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Florida Trail, Sopchoppy
This 8.9-mile segment of the Florida Trail gets your feet wet, figuratively and literally, with the often-soggy habitats found across the Apalachicola, the largest of Florida’s National Forests.

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Florida Trail, Sopchoppy River
Following the gentle curves of its cypress-lined namesake, the 4.1-mile Sopchoppy River section of the Florida Trail is one of the most scenic segments of the trail statewide.

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Florida Trail, Bradwell Bay
You’re guaranteed to get wet on the roughest, wildest day hike on the Florida Trail: Bradwell Bay, a 12.3 mile hike with 7 miles of gnarly swamp to navigate through.

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Florida Trail, Econfina Creek
Surprisingly rugged and delightfully diverse, this 17.7 mile hike along Econfina Creek is one of the top segments of the Florida Trail for scenic beauty.

Latest Adventures

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Dry Tortugas National Park
Our friend Bob "TruckrBob" Finley shares his experience with planning, and reaching, the toughest park to visit in Florida: Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles offshore from Key West.

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The British are coming!
On April Fools Day, we visited the 33rd annual British Car Show at Mead Garden in Winter Park. It's held every spring, and is a must for sports car aficionados.

Virtual Hikes on YouTube

YT AP Jewel to Vilas
 
YT AP Porter to Jewel cover
 
YT AP Sopchoppy cover
YT AP Sopchoppy River
 
YT AP Vilas to Camel Lake cover
 
YT BB Aucilla Sinks
YT Econfina Creek cover
 
YT Pine Log cover
 
YT Coldwater Gardens
YT CP Nokuse CRS
 
YT Nokuse Forgotten Creek cover
 
YT CP Nokuse Lafayette Creek
YT Kissimmee Prairie North cover
 
YTThree Lakes South cover
 
YT OR Forever FL
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How did the Florida Trail begin?

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An all-encompassing history and visual walk through of the Florida Trail, our coffee table book, The Florida Trail: Florida's National Scenic Trail, celebrates 50 years of our favorite trail and the people who made it happen. Learn more about this commemorative book here.

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Upcoming Events

OUR PRESENTATIONS
Oct 7: Myth-busting the Florida Trail, ALDHA Gathering, Abington VA
Oct 14: Florida Trail, Kissimmee River Section. FTA South Regional Conference, Tequesta
Feb 6, 2018: Botanically rich hikes along the Florida Trail. Florida Native Plant Society Tarflower Chapter, Leu Gardens, Orlando

MAJOR HIKING & OUTDOOR EVENTS
May 12-14: REI Winter Park Grand Opening Celebration. Details.
May 22: The Florida Trail Association will hold its Annual Meeting and Elections on Saturday May 22 at Camp McConnell, Micanopy. The Annual Meeting starts at 9 AM EST. Check their website for details.

Jun 3: National Trails Day, nationwide
Oct 6-9: ALDHA Gathering, Abington VA
Oct 13-15: FTA South Regional Conference, Tequesta
Nov 10-12: FTA Northeast Regional Conference, Niceville

Know of other major events? Let us know and we'll add them!

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