What we're about

The Heartland Chapter is one of 18 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 heartland.floridatrail.org for more information about our chapter. Or go to www.floridatrail.org to learn more about the Florida Trail Association.

Upcoming events (5)

Kayak on the Hillsborough River

John B Sargeant Sr Park

DESCRIPTION: Kayak from Sergeant’s Park to Trout Creek with a snack break at Morris Bridge. This approximately eight-mile paddle will take between three to four hours. IMPORTANT NOTE: THERE IS A LIMIT FOR THIS EVENT. IF YOU SIGN UP BUT CAN’T MAKE IT, PLEASE CHANGE YOUR MEETUP RSVP TO “NO”. YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR RSVP AT ANY TIME UP TO WHEN THE EVENT STARTS. IN ADDITION, IF CANCELLING ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ACTIVITY LEADER EITHER BY PHONE OR AS A COMMENT. IF UNDER YOUR ATTENDANCE STATS, YOU HAVE TWO OR MORE “No shows”, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO SIGN UP FOR THIS PARTICULAR EVENT. Rentals are available at Canoe Escapes http://www.canoeescape.com/ and[masked]); reservations strongly recommended. Rentals will include a ride back to your car. We will be shuttling cars from Sergeant’s Park down to Trout Creek. There is a $2.00 parking fee that will be good for both parks. BE READY TO SHUTTLE BY 9:00 AM. If renting, give time to be ready to put in with group. As we will be shuttling cars, whenever possible, PLEASE HAVE ROOM AVAILABLE in your vehicle to EITHER bring people back in the beginning of the trip (from the take out parking area back to the launch site) OR be able at the end to bring a driver plus kayak back (from the take out parking area back to their vehicle in the launch area). Your help with this will be appreciated. Map information: https://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/designated_paddle/Hills_guide.pdf BRING OR WEAR: Bring water, snacks and/or lunch, sun and insect protection. If bringing your own kayak, in addition to a paddle, you must have a whistle and PDF.

4.28.19 Hike at Circle B Bar Reserve

Polk's Nature Discovery Center

DESCRIPTION: This is a moderately paced hike with lots of opportunity to observe wildlife. It will be a two-part hike. The first half will be 2.5 miles (approximately) and then those wishing to leave may do so. The second half will be another 2.0 miles. 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.

Hike at Tenoroc WMA before May 2019 meeting.

Tenoroc Wildlife Management Area

We will be hiking the blue trail including some new sections. It will not be a long hike as we need to be back for the meeting. Estimated time is about an hour. Please note, as you are doing a Florida Trail chapter activity, it is not necessary to pay for admittance NOR is it necessary to stop at the office. If coming to area on your own on another day OR to do any other activity than our events, you must sign in and out at the office. In addition, there is a $3/person fee unless you are a Florida resident over 65. Facility is only open Friday through Monday. This is the same location as our meeting will be. MUST have sturdy shoes or boots AND WATER. Bring or wear hats, sunscreen, bug spray, and snacks as your preference.

May 4, 2019 Chapter Meeting with Planning Session

Tenoroc Wildlife Management Area

DESCRIPTION: This chapter meeting will feature a planning session covering the next eight months. As the recently elected chapter chair, Jan Wells will be looking for officers and activity leaders to make every effort to attend. We hope to develop some new activities including more weekend trips that can offer a combination of hiking, biking and kayaking. Members are invited to offer suggestions and comments. Refreshments will be served. Monika Hoerl will lead a short hike on the Blue Trail before the meeting at 8AM (see separate Meetup posting). BRING: Your calendars and your ideas. Optional lunch at a local restaurant afterwards. NOTE: Since this is a Florida Trail chapter activity, it is not necessary to pay for admittance NOR is it necessary to stop at the office. If coming to area on your own on another day OR to do any other activity than our events, you must sign in and out at the office. In addition, there is a $3/person fee unless you are a Florida resident over 65. Facility is only open Friday through Monday.

Past events (615)

4.20.19 Hike at Saddle Creek section of Tenoroc WMA

Tenoroc FMA Saddle Creek Tract

Photos (7,045)