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 (http://www.heartlandfta.org/) for more information about our chapter. Or go to www.floridatrail.org (http://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+)

5 or 10 mile hike at Panther Point

Panther Point Trail

We will meet at the trailhead of Marshall Hampton Reserve to step out on the trail at 8am sharp. Please arrive before 8am to sign in and meet your hike leader. We will hike together to the bridge, enjoying seeing a variety of birds and as always, alligators. At the bridge those who want to hike 5 miles will return from the bridge to their cars. The group wanting to hike 10 miles will continue on to the top of the berm at the summit of Panther Point. For either group this is an out and back hike.
*make sure you bring at least 2 liters of water, snacks and wear hiking shoes or boots. The group completing the 10 miles will be for those hikers who hike 10 to 15 miles a couple of times, or more, per month.
You must be in excellent physical condition as there are no take out points, however this is a flat and hopefully completely dry walk.

hiking the yellow birdie trail at Tenoroc

Picnic Lake, Tenoroc Wildlife Management Area

Starting at Picnic Lake.
This will be an 8 mile loop hike. So there is nowhere you could cut out.

You have to go through the Welcome Center where I have given them your name. This way you do not have to pay.
If you come on your own you have to pay.
Sometimes you might have to stand in line to get through.

From the Welcome center it is another mile to Picnic Lake.
The pace will be between 2 and 2.5 miles. It is not a run nor a walk.
Bring at least 1 l of water, snacks, good shoes, mosquito spray.
Be on time to sign in.
We will start promptly at 8:00 am

Circle B Bar Reserve Hike

Circle B Bar Reserve

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:
http://polknature.com/explore/circle-b-bar-reserve#panel1

BRING OR WEAR: Hiking shoes, brimmed hat, water, sun, and insect
protection. Cameras and binoculars are welcomed.

2
Hike Baird Unit and tour Richloam Fish Hatchery

Needs a location

PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE ON THIS EVENT. NEW DATE IS MARCH 1. THE HATCHERY HAS A CONFLICT WITH THE ORIGINAL DATE SO WE HAVE RESCHEDULED TO MARCH 1 (SHORT STAFFED) . SAME TIME AND LOCATION. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE TO THOSE ALREADY SIGNED UP. IF YOU CAN'T ATTEND PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ATTENDANCE. THANKS, BOB AND SUE

Join Bob and Sue for a 2 part event.
We will do a 3-4 mile walk in the Baird Unit of the Withlacoochee WMA. This will be a loop hike down a forest road, thru a treed area, past a couple of ponds. We will stop at a small picnic area overlooking Revels Pond for a break then continue back to our cars.

Part 2 ...We all will drive to the Richloam Fish Hatchery a few miles south of our location on Hwy 471 for lunch at their picnic area. Richloam Hatchery is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's (FWC) major freshwater fish production location.
Now it gets tricky..THE HATCHERY HAS A LIMIT OF 20 PEOPLE FOR A TOUR.... I have posted this on FTA Suncoast also , so 10 from each group.
After the lunch and the tour we can explore a bit of the hatchery property in a beautiful oak treed area.

You will pass the parking lot and access area on the drive in.
Bring lunch , water, a chair .

Directions....From Tarrytown intersection of Hwy 50 and Hwy 471..go South on Hwy 471 about 2 miles till you see the Withlacoochee Forest sign on the West side of the road. Immediately turn East onto a dirt road and you will see the green forest sign for Baird Tract. Park at the kiosk where we will meet and begin our walk. Coming from the south on Hwy 471 the entrance will be about 1000 ft past the Little Withlacoochee Bridge on the right.

Location...... [masked] [masked] Tarrytown, Fl

Past events (767)