What we're about

We are the North Florida Trailblazers, the local chapter of the Florida Trail Association (FTA). Our main purpose is to build and maintain sections of the Florida Trail (FT) in our chapter's area. Sections are located in the Osceola National Forest, along the Suwannee River near White Springs, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park and Camp Blanding. When we are not working on the FT, we organize day hikes, backpacking, paddling, and other outdoor activities. We have chapter meetings, social events and other activities to promote hiking. We are using Meetup to reach people interested in hiking.

The FT, a 1300 mile trail that runs the length of Florida, is part of the National Scenic Trails system (includes the AT and the Continental Divide, for example). The FT is developed, maintained, protected and promoted by the FTA and its public and private partners.

Check out this short video to learn more about the FT: Explore the Florida Trail - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1IsxEAjb0Q&feature=youtu.be)

We are not a social networking or dating group. We are here to support and maintain the FT and to promote hiking in general. But if you enjoy hiking and outdoors activities, you will certainly meet people with shared interests. Advertising to or within the group is not allowed.

RSVPs are important so that we may properly plan for you and for the group. If your ability to attend changes, please change your RSVP as soon as you know so that your spot can be given to others especially on our limited attendance events. If you have to change your RSVP at the last minute, please message your event leader so that you are not marked as a "No Show." Three No Shows can result in the loss of your membership in the Meetup group.

If you request to join us, please make sure your profile includes your name and a recent photo of yourself so we can recognize you at our events. We do require participants at our events to put their name on our sign-in sheet/liability waiver.

Our members receive many benefits, including automatic membership in a local chapter in your area, which holds its own meetings and activities and sends out a newsletter pertinent to what’s going on in your area; a subscription to the Footprint magazine; trail maintenance training workshops, including chainsaw certification; participation in Volunteer Work Parties, our team-building volunteer trail crews that tackle large projects like building bridges and boardwalks; a window decal and logo patch; opportunity to participate on decision-making committees covering major trail issues; and voting privileges. Memberships start at $35 for an individual or $50 for a family. http://ftashop.floridatrail.org/individual -...

NOTE: Registration on this Meetup does not make you a member of the FTA. Some of our events will be offered only to FTA members. Go to www.floridatrail.org to join the FTA and learn more about our organization.

Upcoming events (4+)

Camp Blanding Trail Maintenance

Treat Road

We will mow, trim and blaze the Florida Trail through Camp Blanding. Bring gloves, loppers if you have them, sunscreen, bug repellent, plenty of water, snacks and lunch. Total miles 6. Should take us most of the day as we haven't been out there since last year. We will take breaks along the way and eat lunch by one of the beautiful lakes.

Trailblazers Fall Business Meeting and Hike at Little Talbot Island

Little Talbot Island State Park

[masked] Update - COVID-19 Masks are not required, but strongly encouraged in crowded situations where adequate social distancing cannot be maintained. They are not required on the Trail.

We will meet at the pavilion south of the Little Talbot Island parking lot for our fall business meeting at 10:30 AM. From the park entrance follow the park drive to the beach parking lot (on the left.)

At completion of the meeting about 11:30 AM we will hike from the pavilion to the Trailhead for The Dune Ridge Trail and then two miles north through the maritime forest to the north end of the island where we will stop for lunch. We'll return on the beach along the dunes. The total distance will be 4.6 miles as a leisurely pace.

Bring a folding chair for the meeting and sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug repellant, water and a lunch or snack (if you want) for the hike.

An agenda for the meeting will be provided approximately a week prior. Please send suggested motions or topics for discussion to [masked] not later than Oct 31st. Motions for discussion and vote must be submitted in advance. No motions will be accepted from the floor during the meeting. This is to permit online voting by Chapter members unable to attend.

All are welcome to attend the meeting and the hike. Only members of the Florida Trail Association may vote on Chapter business. Because of the limitations at Little Talbot our event is limited to 50 people. Also, because this is principally a meeting to conduct Chapter business if more than 50 people sign up priority will be given to Florida Trail Association Members.

Gold Head Trail Maintenance

Mike Roess Gold Head State Park

We will mow, lop and Blaze the Florida Trail through Gold Head SP. Just over 5 miles. Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch. Bring your loppers if you have them and gloves. Sunscreen, bug spray and wear good hiking shoes.

Part 4 Ocala Traverse Lake Delancy to Buckman Lock

Location visible to members

Come camp at Rodman Campground and day hike the final sections of our previously canceled 4 part 72 mile Ocala Traverse. Canceled due to Covid 19. We will Day hike on Saturday from Lake Delancy to Rodman Campground 9.3 miles Then on Sunday finish along the cross Florida Barge canal to Buckman Lock with an easy 4.3 mile stroll.
Make your reservations now for Rodman Campground at FloridaStateParks.org Participants may be asked to help shuttle hikers. Out of courtesy to others please wear a mask during the shuttle. On the hikes bring lunch, plenty of water, sun block and appropriate clothing.
The hike will be in the middle of general gun deer hunting season so please wear something bright fluorescent if possible. No white, brown or camouflage clothing. weather.

Florida Trail sanctioned events require that you do not have to be vaccinated to attend FT events . However, you must show a negative covid result taken within 72 hours of the event or proof of vaccination.

Here is the link to upload your covid info.


Past events (721)

Big Shoals lite work hike 4 miles round trip.

Bell Springs Trailhead

Photos (15,446)

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