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+)

9.29.19 Hike at Circle B Bar Reserve

Polk's Nature Discovery Center

This is a Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association (FTA) hiking activity opened 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/ 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.

11.8.19 Weekend camping at Highlands Hammock State Park & Annual CCC Festival

This is a Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association (FTA) hiking activity opened 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/ Two nights of camping (Nov. 8 - 9) topped off with a visit to the 33rd Annual Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Festival (Nov. 10). Take a step back in time to learn about the Men of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the amazing things they did for the National and State Park’s Service. Join us camping Friday and Saturday night. Friday night will be a relaxing time sitting around the fire telling trail stories, swapping camp recipes, or whatever comes to mind! Group activities for Saturday and Sunday will be posted on Meetup as separate events. FTA Activity Leaders, please feel free to organize and post group activities for Saturday and Sunday. Sunday enjoy a day at the 33rd Annual Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Festival at Highlands Hammock State Park. Camping reservations can be made through Reserve America at https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/highlands-hammock-state-park/FL/281036/overview Wood for the evening fires is always gratefully accepted!

11.17.19 Hike at Circle B Bar Reserve

Polk's Nature Discovery Center

This is a Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association (FTA) hiking activity opened 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/ 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.

11.17.19 KICCO Volunteer Work Party

Westgate River Ranch Resort

Come out and join the Heartland Chapter as we work on the FNST along the Kissimmee River. We will be working from Three Lakes WMA to the S65-A lock We will be lopping, mowing and blazing approximately 12 miles of trail. We will be camping at the primitive Town of KICCO Campground. You must bring your own camping equipment. We will provide food for the work week as well as all PPE. Arrive on Sunday between noon and 5PM to help setup base camp and learn what we will be doing for Monday - Thursday. Work will begin @ 8AM Monday. Directions for finding the main trail head entrance to the KICCO WMA: From Lake Wales Take Hwy 60 E approximately 25 miles to Westgate River Ranch Resort. Turn RT onto River Ranch Blvd and travel approximately 3 miles. Drive into the resort and turn right onto KICCO Grade Rd (immediately past the cabins/Teepees). Follow KICCO Grade Rd approximately 1 mile to the trailhead and entrance gate. Town of KICCO Campground is 10 miles south from the entrance gate. From Yeehaw Junction, take Hwy 60 W approximately 20 miles to Westgate River Ranch Resort. Follow directions above to get to KICCO WMA. Additional information will be provided as to the combination to the lock on the gate as we near the event date.

Past events (624)

7.13.19 Hike at Saddle Creek section of Tenoroc WMA

Tenoroc FMA Saddle Creek Tract

Photos (7,128)