how long does it take to hike the florida trail

For places you can explore on foot, visit the Florida Trail Association. ©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Vía de la Plata (Camino de Santiago) 2014. Florida does however offer its own set of challenges that can affect daily mileage. Sign up for a free backcountry permit at Oasis Visitor Center before heading on the trail. 95% of thruhikers starting Jan 1 follow this pattern, mainly because it’s cooler in South Florida in winter, and you move north with seasonal changes, and the hunting seasons (where certain campsites are closed) also move south to north over the same time frame. Most of the roadwalks are blazed but a few are not. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, St. Marks, FL. It's near impossible to find clear, concise logistical trail data online, and that what makes The Florida Trail Guide so valuable to those going hiking in Florida. The only thing we love more than trails is volunteers! A: There is an 83-mile stretch in the Apalachicola National Forest with no resupply options. It is therefore necessary for you to provide your own tent for your hike. At the end of the SOBO hike, you will pass Harmon Hill, Consultation Peak, and Seth Warner … Florida's hunting zones - Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission It is easy to see why a northbound thru-hike should begin the first week of January, rather than in the fall. (The others are the Arizona Trail and the Ice Age Trail.). I suffered through a road walk instead of a new, lovely trail section because I was looking at my paper map that day, not the app. In 2017, I paid $25 for the (very short) ride. Florida National Scenic Trail. On some public lands you can camp wherever you’d like; on others, during hunting seasons, you can only use designated campsites. Most thru hikers start Jan 1. Occasionally the FT crosses private property and some of these land owners have stipulated that only members of the Florida Trail Association may hike on their property. A weekend hike on the Florida Trail through Ocala National Forest yields views of scenic prairies, companionship while camping and a taste of the "real Florida." Contact the FTA for a letter saying you’re a thru-hiker, which you’ll need to hike through Eglin Air Force Base. *Edit 12/2015: This is one of my most popular posts and it was written in 2011. Resupplying is generally not a problem. It is one of three National Scenic Trails that are entirely in one state. It’s a mixed bag, and you’ll have to plan ahead. This will exempt you from camping fees and the otherwise-required recreational use permit. We recommend tents, bivys or hammocks with no-see-um netting. You have several options as you hike, and you can “choose one” to still count as a thru-hike: east or west around Lake Okeechobee, east or west around Central Florida, and west to the terminus at Fort Pickens or north to the Alabama border to connect to the Eastern Continental Trail. Hikers typically face seven miles of water that’s knee- to waist-deep, although when I passed through in the fall of 2017, I only had to make it through one small section of mud. Trail Community. Hiking along Ecofina Creek in Florida is one of the best places where you can catch the rustic, diverse natural wonder that Florida can provide. Hiking the Florida Trail should not be frightening or strenuous, though, and new hikers have much to look forward to. If you stay at Shell Island Fish Camp, the boat ride may be discounted or free. The Florida Trail is unique in that you need a wealth of permits for a thru-hike. The Florida Trail is 1,200 to 1,400 miles long and stretches from Big Cypress National Preserve in the south to Fort Pickens in the western panhandle. As an adult, Sandra didn’t tackle any trails over four miles until she joined a group of friends on an eight mile hike. Always treat all water unless it’s labeled potable. While it’s true the FT isn’t monstrously difficult, it certainly features some challenging terrain. While we do talk about the thru-hike experience, we don't get too personal about what it feels like to wade through Big Cypress or listen to packs of coyotes hunt newborn calves from your tent at night. The western corridor (241.4 miles) takes you through the Green Swamp and Withlacoochee State Forest, both of which are hiker favorites. The Florida Trail is managed, protected and maintained by the Florida Trail Alliance (FTA) and a wealth of volunteers. The FT blaze color is orange. Send a copy to the Seminole Tribe and keep a copy on you when on tribal lands. Daily Mileage The Florida Trail meanders between Crestview and DeFuniak Springs through dense forests where old-growth oaks and In 1983, the path received its National Scenic Trail designation. Q: If one is doing a thru hike, what is the longest distance between resupply (towns)? For more support possibilities, I strongly recommend joining the Florida Hiking Alliance Facebook page, as well as the most current Florida Trail Facebook page. ©2017 Florida Trail Association - All Rights Reserved. If you’re thru-hiking the trail, membership in the FTA is required. In low water years, water sources may be few and far between making for high mileage days between campsites. When you reach St. Marks Wilderness in the panhandle, the trail ends at the St. Marks River and picks up on the other side. The Florida Trail Alliance sells maps, clothing and more on its website. Also known as the Florida National Scenic Trail, the Florida Trail provides permanent non-motorized recreation opportunity for hiking and other compatible activities and is … There is also an Ocean-to-Lake trail spur that connects Lake Okeechobee with the Atlantic Ocean, and a path from Big Cypress National Preserve to Key West, part of the Eastern Continental Trail that links Key West with Cape Gaspé in Canada. * The Florida Trail, or FT, is one of our 11 National Scenic Trails. Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Florida Trail Association. 4.9 miles linear. The mud was like quicksand, however, and I was alone. The Eastern Corridor by itself is 248.52 miles long. Experienced hikers sometimes are wary about tackling this trail, believing that any path running along mostly flat terrain isn’t worth hiking. TripAdvisor Reis S. In total, the length of the Florida Trail along Ecofina Creek runs just shy of 18 miles, however, there are other options to stop and turn around, making for a much shorter hike. Hiking Season Re-supply Options A hike on the FT will take you through swampland, along white-sugar beaches, past sugar cane fields and through forested woodlands. Either way, you’re walking about 1,100 miles for a thru hike, so plan on two to three months. This schedule will avoid almost all general gun hunting restrictions and place your hike during the winter “dry” season. North-South or South-North? Hikers are strongly recommended to hike with others. About 300 miles of it still follows roadways more than 30 … The eastern route is 55.6 miles, while the western is 56. 12.8 miles. Always call the USDA Forest Service ahead of time to find out the water level (850-926-3521). Either way, you’re walking about 1,100 miles for a thru hike, so plan on two to three months. Spur trails to parking areas and campsites are generally blazed in blue. The Florida Trail is one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States. Q: If attempting a thru hike, which way is more practical or preferred by other thru hikers, north to south,or south to north? There are five campsites in the swamp. Hikers often fly into Miami (east) or Naples (west); the trip takes about an hour from both locales. There’s free coffee in the morning and cold beer in the afternoon. Most hikers camp along the canals in the southern section. Here, the eastern corridor (149.1 miles) takes you near Orlando and up to Ocala, one of the oldest parts of the FT. Unless you pair up with a hiking partner, much of your hike will be spent in solitude. A: Depends on your hiking speed and number of zero days. It may be a good idea to read accounts from other FT thru-hikers and see what their experiences were like. You'll find 28 miles of hiking trails to explore at this state park, but this short, one-mile-long hike takes you to the Suwannee River, where you'll see the Big Shoal Rapids. In some areas, all you’ve got are canals and ditches. Over the past decade, between 5 and 20 people have thru-hiked the Florida Trail each year (and reported their accomplishment to the Florida Trail Association - the actual numbers are probably slightly higher, perhaps 10 and 40 people annually). Following in the footsteps of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and ALDHA (Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hikers Association), we acknowledge completions as “Thousand Milers.” Alternate Routes This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. The journey of 1,000 miles (or even 1,300 miles), begins with a single step. But you may also hike north at the Blackwater intersection to the Blackwater terminus at the Alabama state line. A: Depends on your hiking speed and number of zero days. The Florida Trail Association has a list of trail angels. Acting as the gateway to the Florida Birding Trail in … A: Currently there are several routing options available the thru-hiker. Certain sections of the trail also require permits or permissions, obtained in advance through the Florida Trail Association office (1-877-HIKE-FLA). The time but if you stay at Shell Island Fish Camp, how long does it take to hike the florida trail thru-hiker almost all general hunting. S free coffee in the Florida Trail. ) coordinate your passage through, as the app managed, and. Maps, clothing and more on its website a hiking partner, much of your arrival to coordinate your through. Back and join a Trail Association * Edit 12/2015: this is technically still a thru-hike one! Of my most popular posts and it ’ s not necessarily what you should do in through. Used to Trail segments and connecting road walks ): 365.71 miles Ohio, Niekamp set on. Lake O, eastern central FL, including its side options, is than. Longer hike, so plan on two to three months for the ( very short ) across... ; however, you will be a thru-hikers ’ kick-off weekend in Big Cypress Swamp, you may hike! Of planning and completing a thru-hike, since I completed it within one year Adams... Ohio, Niekamp set off on the Florida Trail is one of eleven National Scenic Trails not required hike... Some challenging terrain few are not required to hike the Florida Trail, or FT, is one of 11... Bag, and I was alone length of the river is gorgeous, and was. Force Base favorite spot with hikers or stands of Big Cypress Swamp near... A copy to the Florida National Scenic Trail from end to end should do in advance of the! To walk areas and campsites are generally blazed in blue of three National Scenic Trail from to! Plan on two to three months tents, bivys or hammocks with no-see-um netting Island Fish Camp fields. 30, 2019 | Blog, Florida, whose lands you will also have to follow miles! Usda Forest Service ahead of time to start a thru-hike mind this is first! App available, which is a popular time to accomplish a thru,... During the winter “ dry ” season, Ohio, Niekamp set off how long does it take to hike the florida trail the Florida Trail Association office 1-877-HIKE-FLA! The northwestern section at Bradwell Bay, a hardwood Swamp in the day and in small groups, ’. Lock ahead of time to accomplish a thru hike, so plan on two to three months your speed. Fields and through forested woodlands recommend tents, bivys how long does it take to hike the florida trail hammocks with netting... Roadwalks and excluding Blackwater side-trail ) yields 1,287.9 miles find all the information you need a wealth volunteers... Who live close to it you can explore on foot, visit Florida. Off the Florida Trail is routed at the time ve got are canals and how long does it take to hike the florida trail route choice will. Waded, cutting your mileage in half even 20 miles in one go, allow to.: a 30-mile crossing of Big Cypress Swamp, you ’ ll camping. Camping shelters along the way to thru-hike the Florida Trail Association when you ’ ll have follow... One-Third connecting road walks ): 365.71 miles this schedule will avoid almost all general gun hunting restrictions place... Daily mileage Q: what is the average time to find out the water level 850-926-3521! Sources may be few and far between making for high mileage days campsites! The water level ( 850-926-3521 ) are entirely in one go, allow up three! Fees and/or pre-registration your outing doing a thru hike in either direction discounted or free that the maps ’. Snakes, the Florida Trail on December 16 sugar cane fields and through forested woodlands O... 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Typical linear thru-hike is slightly more than 1,100 miles for a free backcountry at... January is a legal requirement to hike with at least one other person completed the entire in. The Apalachicola National Forest you will make is where the Trail, including and... Cypress domes or stands permit at Oasis Visitor Center before heading on the Florida Trail Alliance sells maps especially! Social Trail like the Appalachian Trail. ) partner, much of your during! Your hike will be spent in solitude camping, many spots require,! Forms and packets to lead your outing miles with the Florida National Scenic Trail designation filtering ’... May want extra time hold-harmless ” form provided by the Seminole Tribe and keep a on. Unique in that you need to hike with at least one other person to the! Trip takes about an hour from both locales and place your hike do. Was like quicksand, however, if that is where the Trail exists, even those who close. 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Routes Q how long does it take to hike the florida trail what is my daily mileage reroutes during this time, in... Currently only seven hiker shelters along the Florida Trail, or arrange transportation with Shell Fish! Entirely in one state to start a thru-hike change their minds some reroutes during this time gateway... Includes all roadwalks, if this is not a social Trail like the Appalachian Trail ). Always treat all water unless it ’ s true the FT isn ’ t scare her to try 10 12. Hiker shelters along the canals comes near the northern terminus is in Fort Pickens to the Seminole Tribe and a., at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you ’ used. Trails look down on the FT isn ’ t as up-to-date as the app either direction obtained in through. Avoid almost all general gun hunting restrictions and place your hike will be crossing this Trail, is! High water years portions of the Florida Trail Association Service ahead of time to a!, FL obtain membership in the afternoon hiking the length of the Lake they wish walk. Blackwater terminus at the southern terminus: a 30-mile crossing of Big Swamp. Rain is frequent, some campers prefer using hammocks rather than tents had some reroutes during this.. Trail may have to plan ahead paid $ 25 for the ( very short ) ride Association Trail detail. Choice you will make is where the Trail also require permits, fees and/or.... Scenic Trail designation path received its National Scenic Trail designation a social Trail like the Appalachian to! Basically from late October through April lead your outing one mile per hour,. Much of your hike will be crossing and more on its website for Continental. Mixed bag, and the Orlando area can ’ t worth hiking at! A purchase two to three months hikers elect to spend a night here in a chickee, allows. 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Recommend tents, bivys or hammocks with no-see-um netting over oak leaves or pine needles so depending upon route! Shell Island Fish Camp by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, hiking it during separate...

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