Madison. Davie. Mossy Head. The same is true for our overview maps. Coral Gables. You can even make a point of showing up in Olustee during the annual Civil War re-enactment, one of the largest in the South. There is a need to shuttle or place two cars, plus the drive to and from the trail. Palm Bay. Daytona Beach. There is no camping allowed in the Little Big Econ Forest. Sebastian. Miami. If you’re new to Florida hiking, the Big Scrub, the largest sand pine scrub ecosystem in the world, will be an exciting discovery. It doesn't rain as much during the fall, so you should be able to hike on a dry trail throughout this time. Suwannee Springs. Steinhatchee. Lakeland. Everglades National Park. Marathon. One of the Florida Panhandle’s most spectacular day hikes, the Juniper Creek Trail introduces you to inviting sandy beaches along curves of the creek, pitcher plant bogs on seepage slopes, fields of blueberries ready for the picking, and colorful pink and white blooms of mountain laurel in spring. Section hiking the Florida Trail provides some logistical challenges, but a sense of satisfaction in being able to complete an 1,100-mile walk across Florida over time Thru Hike the Florida Trail A thru-hike in Florida takes 60-90 days through lush landscapes you won’t see on other long distance trails Keep your camera ready for shots of sandhill cranes and eagles soaring overhead, as you hike through the rambling wetlands prairie. Explore an interactive map of the Florida Trail. Big Cypress National Preserve. Fisheating Creek. Geneva. Boynton Beach. Scrub terrain consists of sandy soil, shrubs, and dwarf oak, and it's essentially a desert-like environment. (Patrick Connolly / Orlando Sentinel) After my cheesy lunch, my legs struggled to find the will to carry on. Ocala National Forest. Dunnellon. Weeki Wachee. Key Largo. Guthook Guides Comprehensive logistics and offline maps for the Florida National Scenic Trail. Here you'll find bountiful hills, ponds, pine forest and boardwalks through cypress and gum swamps. A comedy of errors before the hike even begins. Oviedo. The Florida Trail through the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge traverses a greater variety of forest types and wildlife zones than any other north Florida section of the trail. You can also explore Florida Trail by Region for general section descriptions, land management agencies, and local chapter information, related to the section of trail that you are looking to hike. You'll need a long lens, like a 70-200mm, to get a good shot of them strutting through the grass or soaring mid flight. Freeport. Suwannee Big Bend. Port St. Lucie. The terrain varies from hardwood hammocks, high sandhills, and limestone rock bluffs to swamps and flat dirt roads. Bushnell. Trail Map. Dade City. Hike this trail for the terrain and the flora. Hike it or lace up your running shoes and hit this section as a fresh training route for your next marathon or half marathon. Gulf Islands National Seashore. Most people who have completed an end-to-end hike of the Florida Trail have done so as section hikers. Because it is close to the water oceanside, this section was badly … St. Fort Myers. Palatka. The dense vegetation makes it tough to spot "intriguing" animals like deer, fox and bobcats. Live like an Orlando local whenever, wherever, Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. Don't mistake the short, two-mile length of this section of trail for easy. Frostproof. Check with the forest service for availability before you start pitching your tent. Ocala. Wewahitchka NORTH FLORIDA Alachua. New Port Richey. Lake Placid. Trail Segments. Osteen. Long distance hikers tend to follow the trail south to north, so you can navigate through the sections of the trail in that fashion using the sidebar on any of our Florida Trail pages. Venice, SOUTH FLORIDA Arcadia. This is also a great stretch of trail to get away from the city for a night. Northeast Everglades Natural Area. Keep an eye out for trail markers and you'll stay on course. The first section of trail Tran hiked remains her favorite. The USDA Forest Service is the administrator of the Florida Trail, charged with planning routes, overseeing development and establishing partnerships to complete the trail. Bonifay. There is a $2 entry fee. Punta Gorda. MAP USAGE: You may use our section maps if credited to FloridaHikes.com and, if shared online, linked back to this page. Little Manatee River State Park. I think the best bike trail in all South Florida is Shark … Florida Keys. Amelia Island. If 10 miles is more than you want to undertake, there are additional access points to shorten the distance. Salt Springs State Park rents out campsites for $20 and change a night, but it can be well worth it considering the nice warm showers, flushing toilets, and dump station at the campground. The trail dive back into dense vegetation and follows this pattern during the entire 7.8 mile hike. Pine Island. Look for paw prints in the dirt sections of the trail, and keep an eye out for scat. Sarasota. There are four primitive campsites designated for hikers only, all of which could easily hold 10 campers. Sanford. After more than 50 years, the Florida Trail – one of eleven Federally designated National Scenic Trails in the United States – is still a work in progress. Parking is free, but camping is not allowed at Pat's Island. You'll see a unique side of the normally lush state as you make your way through the dry yet scenic stretch. Largo. Orange pine needles cover the ground giving you a feeling of fall as the richly scented pine needles crunch beneath your feet. Bartram explored much of the territory which is now the states of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. Coast to Coast Trail. Okeechobee. Palatka-Lake Butler Trail. Boca Raton. Pine forests tend to have vegetation close to the ground and pine boughs up... 3. The Big Scrub is 360,000 acres of hiking heaven. Palm Coast. Belleview. Baldwin. Wakulla. Panama City Beach. Carrabelle. East Coast Greenway. LaBelle. Walt Disney World. Live Oak. Ocean to Lake Greenway. If you’re new to wilderness hiking, this five-mile (one way) Florida Trail section near Ocala is a good place to start. Sanibel Island. Bristol. Compared to the tight focus of a thru-hike, section hiking is more logistically challenging. Redland. Niceville. Blountstown. The Florida Trail, 1,400 Miles, Section by Section Florida's hiking trails offer wildlife viewing, botanical diversity, and levels of difficulty from beginner to one of the toughest trails in America. Florida Trail, Suwannee Trip Planning. Fort Walton Beach. Crestview. Bring plenty of water because, even in the fall, it can get hot. Monticello. Fort Pierce. With significant botanical beauty, rugged climbs, and nice campsites, the Alaqua section of the Florida Trail in Eglin Air Force Base is … In fact, with the exception of the southernmost 30 miles of the trail – crossing the Big Cypress Swamp – nearly all of the trail can be day hiked. Withlacoochee State Forest. There are two types of hikers on the Florida Trail, section hikers and through hikers, and in my experience through hikers are few and far between. Cover multiple sections of the Florida Trail in one geographic region, NORTHWEST FLORIDA Apalachicola. Happy hiking! Section hikers, hike the trail a day or weekend at a time experiencing smaller sections of the trail, many times in an ‘out-and-back’ style of hike. Crystal River. Tarpon Springs. There are 10 available spots available and be ready to share the area with eager hunters. Estero. Pahokee. We discuss that trail and the specifics for hiking it in Florida here:Eastern Continental Trail. Anyone looking to park at the Joshua Creek Trailhead will need to pay the standard $2 fee. At the north end of the trail, the Blackwater section is considered an “official side trail” and was blazed blue to the Alabama state line. One of them, the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail, is a spur from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean and is not part of the National Scenic Trail. Everglades City. Check with the forest service for any prescribed burns and whether or not it's safe, due to the amount of rain or lack thereof, to have a campfire in a designated fire ring. Mileages. Silver Springs. From a dense wooded forest to wide-open spaces, this is one of the finest section hikes on the Florida Trail. Quincy. Kissimmee. Central Florida West. This is the only segment of the Florida Trail which runs almost continuously beside a major river. St. Petersburg. It's common to see deer grazing and running through the fields of Juniper Wilderness Area. Deland. It is pretty simple to know whether you've made a wrong turn or not — if the blazes are blue, you're off the trail. Stuart. Clewiston. Not only will you see some great wildlife, but you’ll get a good workout, as this is the most rugged section of the Trail. St. Marks NWR. Delray Beach. Fort Lauderdale. Withlacoochee State Trail. Ridge Manor. The Florida Trail itself is a portion of a much longer route spanning from Key West to Cap Gaspe, Quebec. Bring your binoculars to admire them from a distance. Cape San Blas. Hop on I4 headed east and within 30 minutes you'll be at the trailhead. Biscayne Bay. Yeehaw Junction, SOUTHWEST FLORIDA Bradenton . Chipley. Englewood. Cedar Key. Olustee. Welaka. The Georgia Florida and Alabama Trail (GF&A) is but a small section of a proposed 52-mile rail-trail, which will one day stretch from Tallahassee to Carrabelle, on the Gulf of Mexico. There's no reason not to spend a night here with a free campsite and picnic table at your disposal. Lakeport. Experience the best of this section on a 30-mile, three-day trip starting at the Swift Creek Campsite. My ability to meticulously plan out a hike a month in advance and yet still leave an important piece of gear behind is … Jacksonville. A prehistoric walk in the woods along the Florida Trail, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/fnst/home/?cid=STELPRDB5415163, An Adventurer's Guide to the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina, Insider Tips for Watching the Boise Twilight Criterium 2015. Ormond Beach. Tampa. It is actually one of the oldest pieces of the Florida Trail in the Panhandle and is our trail’s connector to the greater Eastern Continental Trail. The 70-mile stretch of marked trail, the first section of the 1,400-mile Florida Trail, is still one of the most scenic trails in Florida. This area also makes for a great place to string a hammock to relax beneath the tall pine trees while watching the clouds float by above. West Palm Beach, Most people who have completed an end-to-end hike of the Florida Trail. If you hike the Big Bend and Lake Okeechobee in the winter, it’s the perfect time to marvel at the masses of migratory birds that arrive. Jupiter. Apalachicola National Forest. Backpackers will love the primitive overnight campsite at the Joshua Creek Trailhead. White Springs. If you're considering heading out on the Florida National Scenic Trail, also known as the Florida Trail, a 1,300-mile route that runs from Big Cypress National Preserve at the southern end of the state all the way north to the Panhandle, we’ve got you covered. Longwood. Length: 71 miles (linear) from Big Shoals State Park to Winquepin St. Paul Rebmann/GT Photo. Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT) features more than 90 linear miles of existing trail paved in segments along a planned 106-mile corridor from Key Largo to Key West. Skirting the banks of the Econlockhatchee River, this 10-mile stretch of trail gives you the best chance for seeing some of Florida’s most interesting wildlife. Alligators patrol this river on the regular and can be seen sunning themselves on the banks. Clermont. Kenansville. Timucuan Preserve. The maps below lead to each of the section pages, which provide details on the hikes found in those sections. Black bears also roam the woods so watch out and make sure you mind your distance should you encounter one of these massive mammals. Key Biscayne. Leesburg. The Florida Trail lends itself to section hiking more than most National Scenic Trails, as trailheads are within an hour of most major metros in the state. Florida National Scenic Trail CENTRAL FLORIDA Apopka. De Leon Springs. You can choose to be out in the woods during spring and fall wildflower seasons. It is primitive camping, so be ready to use the restroom amongst the other animals in nature. For instance, you can avoid hunting seasons entirely. Central Florida. Alexander Springs Campground can be your home for a second night after exploring this stretch of trail. Mims. Hike in after work for a night under the stars, hike out at first light and you can be back in the office with the fresh smell of a campfire as your scent for the day! Ocala Northeast. The varied terrain, multitude of camping sites and frequent access points make this portion of the Florida Trail the guidepost by which all others must be measured. Micanopy. Our nonprofit mission is to educate you about our statewide 1,400-mile trail, and to provide resources to assist you … Camping is allowed at Farles Lake during the fall hunting season for $5 a night. Pulling up to the Hopkins Prairie parking area doesn't give an appropriate sense of the area's beauty. Resident sandhill cranes also section-hike the Florida Trail. Being so close to Orlando, you’d never expect to find 7.8 miles of trail with such a wide variety of vegetation. Canaveral National Seashore. Pensacola. There is one primitive campsite available at Hidden Pond for no charge. For general hiking information, please check out the American Hiking Society ‘s “Tips for Your Next Hike.” Long Distance Resources Western Panhandle. Deltona. Flagler Beach. On the banks of the Suwannee River, hikers wind through blufftop saw palmetto with views of the dark, tannic water before descending down to sandy beaches. Biscayne National Park. Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail. Chiefland. Crawfordville. Tallahassee. Brooksville. Section hiking has its advantages in that you can do it on weekends (as Sandra did early on when she had a full-time job) and knock off a significant amount of trail during prime hiking season, October through April. Lake Mary. Destin. Green Cove Springs. Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. Starke. Cross Florida Greenway. Orlando. Orange Park. South Walton. 8 of the Best Section Hikes on the Florida Trail 1. Lake Butler.Lake City. Homestead. Vero Beach. Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs. If your hike is overnight a camping permit is also required. Ponce De Leon. Port Charlotte. Chelsey and Chris Stevens hike a section of the Florida Trail in Ocala National Forest. Dunedin. Florida Trail Ocala Section Pt. Dense vegetation makes navigation somewhat difficult. Ocala’s 75-mile section of the 1,300-mile Florida National Scenic Trail is widely considered one of the best and most beautiful. Vernon. But it's crowded for good reason. While most hikers in northern states hit the trails and backcountry during the summer, Florida hikers are just now planning their big treks. Palm Beach. As you head further north on the Florida Trail, the scenery changes from thick oak trees to tall, slender pines. Each of the below groupings of sections correspond to an individual piece of our app. Ocklawaha. There are lots of hiking options: There are 16.3 miles of trails, including an 8-mile section of the Florida Trail and a straight trail called the Flagler Trail because it follows what was Henry Flagler’s historic railroad line. Thru-hikers and day hikers alike enjoy this 8.4-mile section of the trail, making it more crowded than other areas. Hollywood. Not only is it diverse, it’s also one of the older sections, giving it some well-established character. Within minutes of hitting the trail, the land opens up into a jaw-dropping, big sky vista. Spring Hill. The Florida Trail is marked with orange blazes, and some of the side trails are blazed blue, but then other side trails are also blazed in white, or yellow, red, and more. Naples. Cloud. Cocoa Beach. You can also pick the optimum places and times when you section hike. Turtles hangout on downed logs, and there are lots of birds. Port Mayaca. Talbot Islands. The hiking season in Florida is somewhat backwards from much of the United States. Sebring. Macclenny. The fall means cool, yet pleasant, temps and fewer mosquitos and no-see-ums—which is always a plus. The Florida Trail is made up of 15 named sections. Jensen Beach. Alexander Springs to Farles Lake. DeFuniak Springs. Bunnell. Sopchoppy. Our Mission: The Florida Trail Association builds, maintains, protects, and promotes the unique Florida National Scenic Trail (Florida Trail), along with a network of hiking trails throughout the state of Florida. Florida Trail, Alaqua 12.8 miles. Basinger. Alexander Springs Campground charges $21 a night per camp spot and you get full use of the amenities like flushing toilets, bathhouse, plus the spring is awesome for swimming. DeBary. Perry. Branford. South Bay, SOUTHEAST FLORIDA Big Pine Key. Islamorada. True, many sections rely on road walking, but not the 115.6-mile point-to-point through Ocala National Forest. The narrow trail winds through dense woods, to the point that you'll start wishing the trail would open up, and voila, you've got wide open wilderness. New Smyrna Beach. Ellaville. Here, we bring you some of the best section hikes along the eastern corridor of the trail's central region. Hike Bike Paddle Camp Florida with authors Sandra Friend and John Keatley as your guides, Section hiking the Florida Trail provides some logistical challenges, but a sense of satisfaction in being able to complete an 1,100-mile walk across Florida over time. Eglin Air Force Base. Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Situated within the Juniper Wilderness Area and part of the Ocala National Forest, this stretch of the Florida Trail is home to scrub forests, young oaks, pines, and prairies. Osceola National Forest. Inverness. Chuluota. Blazed in 1966, this well maintained, 11-mile stretch is one of the oldest sections of the Florida Trail. Dowling Park. Titusville . The wide open spaces and various ponds make for perfect wildlife viewing areas. Williston, MULTI-REGION Big Cypress Swamp. Melbourne Beach. Port St. Joe. The Florida Trail is one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States. The most established section is a hiking trail that winds about 115 miles (185 km) from the North Georgia mountains into North Carolina. Clearwater Beach. Merritt Island NWR. (At least for the central part of the state, that is.). Keystone Heights. © 2020 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. Mayo. Marianna. This 18-mile-round-trip section of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail has spectacular views of water and sky, including from the 2.2-mile-long historic Long Key Bridge. Please be sure to credit us and to link them back to the appropriate section page. The dense vegetation is a terrific home to small creatures and lots of butterflies. Brandon. Sandra is among them. Come to see the big wildlife and leave happy to have seen the smaller wildlife. Filled with colors and variety, this area is so scenic, it will leave you stopping to just take it all in. Deer roam these wide open spaces and if you're quiet enough you can view them from a distance. Trenton. Posted on February 10, 2019 by fivestar Leave a Comment. Lake Wales. Charlotte Harbor. There are many intermediate access points as well. Overseas Heritage Trail. You’ll go right through it on the 8.4-mile section of trail from Alexander Springs to Farles Lake. Hiking by Section South Florida. Blackwater River State Forest. Mount Dora. Chattahoochee. It's a dry, expansive stretch of trail, so be sure to pack lots of water. Eastern Panhandle. Winter Springs. Connect with Florida Trail Hikers and trail angels via the Florida Trail Hikers Alliance to chat with other section hikers to help coordinate logistics for your hike. Moore Haven. St. Augustine. Salt Springs. But the Florida Trail was his first time attempting a hike in the Everglades. Melbourne. High Springs. Fernandina Beach. Ding Darling NWR. The Florida National Scenic Trail, better known as the Florida Trail, is a federally-designated, non-motorized recreation trail that meanders approximately 1,300 miles across some of the most beautiful, unique landscapes in the entire country. The trail's really well maintained, but the flood plains portions of the trail may be underwater after heavy rains. Shark Valley loop in Everglades National Park. A nice alternative to hiking the side spurs to CR 127, and even the west leg of the lower loop through the river bottom, is to hike the section along the bank of the … St. Marks. Sections of the FNST that traverse the Eglin reservation are maintained by the local chapter of the FTA. Instead you're more than likely to see some insect and arachnids. Trail users are required to purchase an Eglin permit to access the FNST. Key West. These books of ours contain information on hiking parts of the Florida Trail throughout the state. Navarre Beach . The trail is approximately 1,500-miles long and is intended to offer a continuous, permanent non-motorized recreation opportunity for hiking and other compatible activities. Hopkins Prairie Campground is a short .4 mile hike from the trail and offers campsites for $10 a night with minimal facilities. The Florida Trail is a 1,500 mile footpath from one end of the state to the other. Hobe Sound. Milton. The 1,110-mile Florida Trail, which connects flower-filled prairies with pine forests and alligator-rich swamps, has a reputation for pavement. Gainesville. Juno Beach. Merritt Island. The Florida Trail Association (FTA) is a volunteer organization that manages and maintains the FNST. Little Manatee River State Park's 6.5-mile loop is perfect for hikers … 1. Lake Okeechobee. This stretch of trail is in the middle of bear country, so you can practice your tracking skills. Ebro. Christmas. One of the newer stretches of the Florida Trail, this 4.3-mile section travels through high, dry pine scrub, and back downhill to the flood plains. Birds soar high in the air while deer and other game graze in the fields and grab a drink of water from the water sources. If you’re new to Florida hiking, the Big Scrub, the largest sand pine scrub... 2. Ten miles in, Horton and Buehler came to Camp Noble, where they noticed … Immokalee. For the terrain varies from hardwood hammocks, high sandhills, and keep an eye for. `` intriguing '' animals like deer, fox and bobcats follows this pattern during the,... To Orlando, you ’ re new to Florida hiking, the Big Scrub, largest! Does n't rain as much during the fall, it can get hot also. Can practice your tracking skills side of the FNST vegetation is a volunteer organization that manages maintains. ) is a portion of a much longer route spanning from Key West to Cap,! 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