What we're about

The Happy Hoofers chapter of the Florida Trail Association serves Broward county. We are an outdoor adventure and eco volunteering group. Our activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, biking, and paddling events throughout the year ranging from easy to strenuous, local to regional. We focus on outdoor activities in South Florida woodlands and streams. We maintain the Florida National Scenic Trail and loop trails from I-75 to Lake Okeechobee. Our section of trail starts at MM63 on Alligator Alley (I-75) and passes through the northerly portion of Big Cypress National Preserve into the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. We maintain the Seminole section of the Florida Trail and then continue on dikes of the South Florida Water Management District through Hendry County to Lake Okeechobee for a total of 65 miles. In Big Cypress National Preserve, loops of 7 and 15 miles just north of Alligator Alley lead hikers into the wilds of the Big Cypress Swamp and provide opportunities for day hiking and backpacking through this wilderness of cypress trees and slash pines. The Florida Trail follows established roads through the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, and you must be a Florida Trail member and apply for a permit in advance to walk through reservation lands. Hikers pass citrus groves, cattle ranches, and the educational Billie Swamp Safari and Ah-Tha-Tiki museum, devoted to Seminole culture.

Membership on Meetup does not mean you are an FTA member. Please consider joining our state organization at www.floridatrail.org (http://www.floridatrail.org/). This will ensure that you receive our local and statewide e-newsletters as well as a quarterly printed Footprint newsletter. There are also certain activities that will only be available to FTA members.

Activities are organized by authorized activity leaders. Participants in activities must sign an Assumption of Risk form and agree to accept personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of accompanying minors. Always contact the activity leader in advance for more information, to let them know you are attending, and to find out about any special requirements for a trip.

Upcoming events (5+)

2019 Ididahike in Live Oak, Florida

Spirit of the Suwannee Campground and Music Park

On March 2, come hike a new Ididahike section of the Florida National Scenic Trail along the historic and beautiful Suwannee River! Last year the Ididahike donated $5000 to the Florida Trail Association. This coming year we are bringing the wildly successful event to a new and exciting location Spirit of the Suwannee Campground and Music Park. The Ididahike main event will begin and end at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and will be approximately 11 miles. The hike passes high above Jerry Branch, passes Disappearing Creek a beautiful clear creek that cuts a narrow canyon which cascades into a 25 foot wall of rock and disappears. Continuing on hikers cross Crooked Branch then climb on high to the highest bluff on the Suwannee River. From this perch you may look out over the top of the trees on the opposite bank and peer down on the historic Suwannee below. Hiking down river, the trail passes numerous rock outcrops 20 and 30 feet above the river along with beautiful white sandbars offering great places to take a break. Near the end of the hike participants will cross the Suwannee on the old 129 Truss bridge and have the option to visit the ruins of the historic Suwannee mineral Spring before they finish. This time of year dogwoods, wild Azaleas, fringe flowers and many others will be in full bloom. Participants will pay $20 and register at the main gate of Spirit of the Suwannee Campground and Music Park to be shuttled via bus to Jerry Branch a Suwannee River Water Management access point to the river and trail. For those of you that are not familiar with the Spirit of the Suwannee (https://www.musicliveshere.com)The park is famous for numerous outdoor music festivals and borders the Suwannee River with many hiking trails as well as access to the Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida's equivalent to the famous Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Many of the North Florida Trailblazers FT chapter will be camping and RVing at the park Thursday thru Monday to set up and run this event so we invite all hikers and campers to come out and make the Ididahike a part of a weekend or long weekend. The Trailblazer will also organize short day hikes on Friday and Sunday for those interested. There will be an FTA group campfire on Friday night. Spirit of the Suwannee offers a wide range of accommodations including 600 improved campsites, comfortable cabins, live music Friday and Saturday, a fully stocked bar and restaurant. Please call Carol Walker at Spirit of the Suwannee for a 10% discount for camping accommodations. Contact Florida Trail North Florida Trailblazers Meetup page for questions or further info. RSVP to THEIR Meetup page, not here. This is a fun fundraiser for Florida Trail Association.

Chapter Meeting-Everyone's invited


Everyone is invited to attend our Monthly meeting. This includes members and non members. Please come and see what we are all about. Snacks will be provided! The Speaker this month will be: Topic:

Dyer Park and Winding Waters- 5 miles

Dyer Park

This will be a hike at a moderate 2.5 mph pace covering the two parks. Leaders choice of trails and lots of scenery. Some trails will be paved, others, not. You'll hopefully view a large variety of birds and other wildlife if our timing is right and we're quiet enough. We'll even get a glimpse of model airplanes flying. Bring a snack and at least 32oz. of water. This will be one of our classic and fun hikes. Inclement weather may change plans. Stay in touch on this web page for any possible updates. Activities Leader: Steve Galla,[masked] Meet in Dyer Park, first lot on the right after you enter. Set your GPS to: 7301 Haverhill Road , West Palm Beach, FL 33412 (not a mailing address). From Turnpike Exit 107, Beeline Highway, take the exit, drive left on Jog Rd, left on Beeline Hwy, drive under the Turnpike and make a right on Haverhill WHICH IS ABOUT A MILE AHEAD. Cross RR tracks on the right. Drive about 1/4 mile on Haverhill Rd. Dyer Park is on the right side, off Haverhill Rd. If unfamiliar with the area, check Google Maps. From I-95: Take Blue Heron(exit 76) west 1 mile to Beeline Hwy.(FL 710) Get in left lane right away after getting on Beeline and make 1st left on Haverhill Rd. Turn right into Dyer Park.

Panhandle Trace Hiking Event - Part I

Needs a location

The Western Gate Chapter (Florida Trail Association) is hosting two 3-day week-end hiking events to introduce the public and all Florida Trail enthusiasts to the northern sections of the FT. Come join the fun and explore the longleaf pine habitat with its lakes and beautiful streams and rivers or the Yellow River Ravines area which provides a true wilderness hiking experience. Daily guided hikes ranging in length from 7 to 11 miles will be offered with support available to shorten hikes if desired. March 29-31 Hike Yellow River Ravines -hike from Holt to Harold, FL on a wilderness hike with multiple stream crossings, learn more about steepheads with their own micro-climate, and enjoy the rustic beauty and multitude of flowering trees and shrubs of north Florida in the springtime. Western Gate camping host will be at Blackwater River State Park. Make camping reservations through Reserve America https://www.reserveamerica.com/ April 5 – 7 Hike the Piney Woods – hike to the northern terminus of the FT, enjoy a lake-to-lake hike, and explore trails along the Blackwater River. Enjoy the diversity of wildflowers including pitcher plants, native azalea, dogwood, Florida anise, and mountain laurel. Western Gate camping host will be at Hurricane Lake Recreation area in Blackwater River State Forest, with other options for camping in the Forest at Bear Lake, Karick Lake or Krul Lake. Make camping reservations through Reserve America https://www.reserveamerica.com/ For additional detailed information, contact Helen Wigersma ([masked]) or see the Western Gate Chapter Meetup site: https://www.meetup.com/ftawesterngate/

Past events (72)

Chapter Meeting-Everyone's invited


Photos (351)