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 for more information about our chapter. Or go to 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+)See all
- Circle B Bar Reserve HikeCircle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland , FL
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:
BRING OR WEAR: Hiking shoes, brimmed hat, water, sun, and insect
protection. Cameras and binoculars are welcomed.
- Hike ,Lost Lake East, Saddle Creek Rd. Part of Tenoroc.Saddle Creek Road, Lakeland, FL
We will park at Saddle Creek Road, Lost Lake East. We will hike the Flat Woods Loop & the Lost Lake Loop. From there we go north past the 4 benches and then along the river. The hike is around 7 miles.
You need at least 2 liters of water/ good shoes, hat. snack. The Lost Lake Loop is hilly, so you may want your hiking poles too.
We will leave promptly at 9:00, so please be early as you have to sign in beforehand.
Saddle Creek RD Lost Lake East
- Colt Creek State Park: Little Lake-Metal Mark Pond HikeColt Creek State Park, Lakeland, FL
Join the Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association for this 5 mile loop hike in the northwest portion of Colt Creek State Park.
We will start at the Little Lake Parking Area ( bathrooms available) and hike past Mac Lake and on to Metal Mark Pond. The trail loops around through pine forest, then back to Mac Lake and finishing at the Little Lake Parking Area.
Wear hiking shoes, a hat and bring 2 liters of water. If you wish, bring your lunch for after the hike.
There is a fee to enter the park ( $4 per person/ $ 6 per car).
Arrive early enough to get organized, sign on, use the restroom, etc. as we will start promptly at 9 am. Park gate opens at 8 am.
If you cannot attend, please log back in and CANCEL, so that others can sign up.
- Blaster Backpack, 18 miles ishLake Wales Ridge State Forest, Arbuckle Tract, Frostproof, FL
We did this a few years ago as a 3 three day event. As the season closes out, let's squeeze in one more beautiful hike in Arbuckle where we have not been in awhile. The first day will be about 10 ish miles and the second day about 7 ish miles. We will camp the one night at Creekside; Filter water if we haven't before; hike back to our cars on Sunday.
This backpack is not for beginners. If you have not completed a real backpack since at least October, this hike will be too challenging for you. You must be in excellent physical condition and a strong hiker with all of your own gear. No need for a gear list, you are a regular backpacker and know your equipment needs. Bring a water filter!
Can't wait to see you on the trail again! And if you have not been to Arbuckle before you are in for a real beauty.
(yep, we will hike in the rain if it happens)