What we’re about
The Heartland Chapter is one of 19 chapters for the Florida Trail Association. The FTA is a volunteer group that maintains the Florida National Scenic Trail, a 1500 mile thru hiking trail from Big Cypress to the Panhandle. The Heartland Chapter is responsible for the maintenance of the trail in Polk, Highlands, Hardee and Desoto counties. We also maintain several loop trails throughout Polk County. Visit us at www.HeartlandFTA.org for more information about our chapter. Or go to www.floridatrail.org to learn more about the Florida Trail Association.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Becoming a member of this Meetup group is not to be assumed as becoming a member in the Florida Trail Association (FTA). FTA membership information is available at https://www.floridatrail.org/make-a-difference/become-a-member/.
Upcoming events (4+)See all
- Hike at Rock Ridge Rd Green Swamp East (GSE)Green Swamp East - Rockridge Rd Gate, Polk City, FL
We're going to Hike to the overlook & back. Starting at Rock Ridge Rd on the Florida Scenic trail. The hike will be around 7.5 miles
It will be a moderate pace, 2 - 2.5 mph. This is not a walk & not a run.
Bring at least 2 liters of water, bug spray, sun screen, hat, & good shoes.
I will start check-in at 830 am. Get there early enough to sign in as we will start right at 900am sharp.
There are no bathrooms. Closest is at Green Pond trail head for the Van Fleet trail, about 3 miles to the east of our start. It is a through the woods hike, mainly flat, some shade, some sun. There might be some wet areas, but should be able to work around them.
This is a Florida Trail Association (FTA) hike that is open to the public.
- Colt Creek State Park/Yellow Trail HikeColt Creek State Park, Lakeland, FL
This is a moderately paced hike of about 6 miles on the yellow trail, located near the equestrian campground in the southern end of the park. We should be able to view and enjoy the abundance of wildflowers that thrive near the trail during this time of year.
We will begin the sign up at 8:30 and step out on the trail at 9:00. Please allow yourselves at least 15 to 20 minutes to drive to the equestrian camp parking from the entrance at the Ranger Station, grab your gear, sign in, etc... There are bathroom facilities near the trailhead and running water.
BRING OR WEAR:
Hiking shoes, at least 2 liters water, sun and insect protection. Please, no bare feet or flip flops. Well behaved dogs are welcome and must remain on leash per state park rules.
- Circle B Bar Reserve HikeCircle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland , FL
This is a Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association (FTA) hiking activity open to the public. FTA membership is not required to participate. Membership in the Florida Trail Association helps us in our efforts to build, protect and promote the Florida National Scenic Trail. For FTA membership information please visit https://www.floridatrail.org/make-a-difference/become-a-member/
LOCATION: Circle B Bar Reserve; 4399 Winter Lake Road (SR 540); Lakeland, FL 33803. For Google maps use Polk’s Nature Discovery Center, Discovery Drive, Lakeland, FL. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot.
DESCRIPTION: This is a moderately paced hike (not a walk!) with lots of opportunity to observe wildlife. Approximately 4 miles in length but route depends on conditions of trails and any closures.
PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THIS LOCATION.
Please, no children under 10.
Info including link to trail map and info on trail closures:
BRING OR WEAR: Hiking shoes, brimmed hat, water, sun, and insect
protection. Cameras and binoculars are welcomed.