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+)

Finish new re-route of main loop trail at Arbuckle

Rucks Dairy Road

Come out and help finish the new re-route of the main loop trail at Lake Wales Ridge State Forest - Arbuckle Tract. On our last work event, we set posts. Blazing and final trail maintenance (mowing/lopping) needs to be completed so this section can be re-opened to the general public. Please bring water and snacks as well as sun/bug protection. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants. A long sleeve shirt is recommended. We will meet at the horse trailer parking area on School Bus Road.

5.27.19 Hike the Red Trail at Tenoroc Wildlife Managemant Area (WMA)

Tenoroc Wildlife Management Area

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/ LOCATION: Tenoroc Wildlife Management Area (WMA); 3829 Tenoroc Mine Road (off of Combee Road); Lakeland, FL 33805. DESCRIPTION: We will be hiking the Red Trail to the Four Benches. The hike will include, for the first time, the new section of the Red Trail. The trail required a partial reroute due to an impassible area that developed as an after effect from hurricane Irma in 2017. The hike is approximately 6 to 7 miles long. For hikers participating in this activity, it is not necessary to stop at the WMA office and pay for admittance to the Area. Drive directly to Picnic Lake. Meet at the Picnic Lake parking lot between 7:30 and 8:00 A.M. The Picnic Lake parking lot is located on the left approximately 1/2 mile past the entrance to the WMA. There is a street sign marking the entrance to the parking lot. There are restroom facilities located at Picnic Lake. GPS:[masked], [masked] Safety Requirements: Minimum 2 liters of water per person No bare feet, flip flops, or open-toed footwear. Insect protection. Snacks/Food Children & Dogs: Children are welcome provided they can hike a 7 mile long hike. Well behaved dogs behaved are welcome.

6.1.19 2019 National Trails Day hike at Tenoroc WMA

Tenoroc Public Use Area

DESCRIPTION: Come hike with us on National Trails Day. We will be hiking from Picnic lake to the blue trail and then to the red loop. Total distance will be about six to seven miles. Time is approximate from three to four hours. PLEASE BE READY TO HIKE BY 8 AM. PLEASE SEE NOTE ABOUT WATER BELOW. Children are welcome if they can handle a hot six plus mile long hike. Dogs, if well behaved, are welcome. Must bring extra water for dogs. 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. Afterwards, come join us at Tapatio’s Restaurante Mexicano. Their address is 734 E Memorial Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33801. https://www.tapatiosmemorial.com/menu 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 TWO LITERS or more of water.

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.

Past events (620)

7 Rivers Water Festival

Central Park

Photos (7,098)