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 (3)

Holly Jolly Christmas Party!

3829 Tenoroc Mine Rd

$18.00

The Heartland Chapter is having a Christmas Party at the Tenoroc Educational Center.
It will be catered by La Imperial Bakery and will feature roasted pork, Carnitas, yellow rice, black beans & dessert. We will have iced tea and water and you are more than welcome to bring your own favorite drink.

Cost is $ 18.00 per person. Please make your check out to Heartland Chapter and send it to Monika Hoerl, 8427 Tomoka Run, Lakeland. FL. 33810. Checks must be received by December 7th so that I can make final arrangements.

In addition to fun time with fellow Chapter members, we will have a trivia contest. Teams will test their knowledge of the Florida Trail, state parks and national parks. Come ready to play!

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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.

2023.01.21 Hike at Highland Hammock State Park

State of Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

Come hike with us at one of Florida's first state park and a wonderful example of CCC construction. There are approximately nine trails with a boardwalk that traverses an old-growth cypress swamp. We will be hiking around six miles. Children eight and older are welcome with responsible adult.

Because of boardwalk restrictions, DO NOT BRING DOGS FOR THIS HIKE.

There is an entry fee. As of 11/7/22, the fees are $4/car single occupant and $6/car (two to eight people). You can pay in advance with a link from the park page. (Link below)
Florida State Parks -

An interesting website with some information on individual trails can be found at:
https://visitsebring.com/walking-trails-of-sebring-fl/

Being a member of this Meetup group is the NOT the same as being a paid member in the Florida Trail Association (FTA). Membership in the FTA helps us in our efforts to build, protect and promote the Florida National Scenic Trail. Information on joining FTA is available at
FLORIDA TRAIL ASSOCIATION INC. - https://floridatrail.org/
This is a Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association (FTA) hiking activity opened to the public. FTA membership is not required to participate.

Highland Hammock is different than most trails we do. There is no one trail for out and back or a loop. It is a series of small trails joined together with road walking. For this reason, I will be stopping quite often to make sure the last group of people know where the next turn is. For this reason, given the current surge in Covid cases, please have your masks handy for when the group is bunched up.

LOCATION: Highlands Hammock State Park, 5931 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872. Meet at the parking lot in front of the CCC Museum. If unsure of the location, ask at the ranger station upon entry. For Google maps, use the location of State of Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, Picnic Area Road.

BRING OR WEAR: Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots (no flip flops or barefoot), water, snacks and/or lunch, and insect protection. IT IS NECESSARY TO BRING WATER.

Past events (755)

Circle B Bar Reserve Hike

Circle B Bar Reserve

Photos (8,782)