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Sandhill Chapter of the Florida Trail Association

The Sandhill Chapter of the Florida Trail Association (formerly the Florida Crackers) has brought together North Central Florida’s outdoor adventurers since it was chartered in 1980, when the first meetings were held in member’s living rooms. The chapter hosted the very first North Regional Fall Conference in 1983 at Suwannee River State Park and has participated in every state and North Regional conference since. A sub-chapter, the Cracker’s Kinfolk, later became the Suwannee Chapter.

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Members of the Sandhill Chapter have built many bridges over the deep gorges along the Suwannee River, have maintained an open trail in Lake Butler Forest despite frequent timber clear-cuts, and, working in coordination with biking and equestrian groups, built a 35-mile segment of trail through Marion County along the Cross Florida Greenway, crossing the prominent 3.3 million dollar Land Bridge over I-75 between Belleview and Ocala.

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The chapter schedules a variety of activities each month such as day hikes, picnics, kayak/canoe trips, overnight backpack trips and bicycle outings. Annual events include the chapter Christmas party in December and the "Goodbye for the Summer" picnic in May.

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Upcoming events (5+)

Kayak Wednesday - Ocklawaha - Gores to Eureka

Eureka West Boat Ramp

Moderate/Open to Public/$5 parking fee/BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) RSVP will open 4 weeks in advance Join the Sandhill Chapter for Deb's monthly week-day kayak/canoe/SUP day trip. Our destination for this trip is the Ocklawaha River. We'll paddle from Gores Landing County Park to the Eureka West boat ramp. Bring boat, PFD with whistle, a shady hat, lots of water, sunscreen and lunch. Dress for the weather, February could be 40 degrees or 80 degrees. We won't cancel except in case of thunderstorms. Everyone must be willing to stay with the group for the duration of the paddle and be willing to help out with the shuttle - so fill your gas tank before heading out in the morning. We'll meet up at Eureka WEST boat ramp parking area (our ending location and there IS a Eureka East ramp which we are NOT using) at 9 am. This time we are doing a reverse shuttle, so we will transfer the all the kayaks and people into as few vehicles as possible then drive down to our starting location at Gores Landing. There is a $5 parking fee at Gores. Have either a $5 bill or 5-$1 bills available for the iron ranger. If those people who will not be parking at Gores will bring a couple of bucks to share with your driver, the parking fee will be shared among the group. Please be at the Eureka WEST boat ramp parking area, ready to unload/load your boats by 9 am. We should be finished around 3 pm. For more info about kayaking the Ocklawaha see http://5-staryakpak.org/places-to-explore/ocklawaha-river/ Deb Blick at [masked]

Kayak Saturday - Ocklawaha - Gores to Eureka

Eureka West Boat Ramp

Moderate/Open to Public/$5 parking fee/BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) RSVP will open 4 weeks in advance Join the Sandhill Chapter for Deb's monthly weekend kayak/canoe/SUP day trip. Our destination for this trip is the Ocklawaha River. We'll paddle from Gores Landing County Park to the Eureka West boat ramp. Bring boat, PFD with whistle, a shady hat, lots of water, sunscreen and lunch. Dress for the weather, February could be 40 degrees or 80 degrees. We won't cancel except in case of thunderstorms. Everyone must be willing to stay with the group for the duration of the paddle and be willing to help out with the shuttle - so fill your gas tank before heading out in the morning. We'll meet up at Eureka WEST boat ramp parking area (our ending location and there IS a Eureka East ramp which we are NOT using) at 9 am. This time we are doing a reverse shuttle, so we will transfer the all the kayaks and people into as few vehicles as possible then drive down to our starting location at Gores Landing. There is a $5 parking fee at Gores. Have either a $5 bill or 5-$1 bills available for the iron ranger. If those people who will not be parking at Gores will bring a couple of bucks to share with your driver, the parking fee will be shared among the group. Please be at the Eureka WEST boat ramp parking area, ready to unload/load your boats by 9 am. We should be finished around 3 pm. For more info about kayaking the Ocklawaha see http://5-staryakpak.org/places-to-explore/ocklawaha-river/ Deb Blick at [masked]

Walk Across Marion County

Marshall Swamp Trailhead

PLEASE JOIN BOB JONES AND THE FLORIDA TRAIL ASSOCIATION FOR OUR ANNUAL WALK ACROSS MARION COUNTY. EACH WEEK WE WILL WALK A DIFFERENT SECTION OF THE FLORIDA TRAIL UNTIL WE HAVE WALKED ACROSS MARION COUNTY. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN WHERE THE VARIOUS TRAILHEADS ARE LOCATED IN OUR AREA. WE WILL HAVE GUEST SPEAKERS ALONG THE WAY WHO WILL SHARE THEIR VAST KNOWLEDGE OF THE HISTORY, FLORA AND FAUNA ON OUR HIKING TRAILS. VISIT THE FLORIDA TRAIL WEBSITE AT WWW.FLORIDATRAIL.ORG OR CALL BOB JONES @[masked] FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS ACTIVITY. THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. FOR ADDITIONAL LOCAL HIKING INFORMATION CONTACT THE OFFICE OF GREENWAYS AND TRAILS @[masked]. FEBRUARY 9TH: MARSHALL SWAMP TO BASELINE TRAILHEAD 5 MILES MICKEY THOMASON DIRECTOR OF THE GREENWAYS WILL GIVE A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CANAL DIGGINGS AND HISTORY OF THE TRAIL. FEBRUARY 16TH: BASELINE TO SANTOS TRAILHEAD 4.5 MILES FEBRUARY 23 RD: SANTOS TO LANDBRIDGE PARKING LOT 6 MILES MARCH 2ND: LANDBRIDGE BLUE LOOP TO 49TH AVE. SEE A MAJOR SAND DUNE FROM THE 1930'S CANAL DIGGINGS. 4.5 MILES MARCH 9TH: 49TH AVE TRAILHEAD TO ROSS PRAIRIE STATE FOREST 6 MILES MARCH 16TH: ROSS PRAIRIE STATE FOREST TO PRUITT TRAILHEAD 6 MILES SEE A MINI STONEHENGE.6 MILES PLEASE BE AWARE BEFORE THE START OF EACH HIKE A CAR SHUTTLE WILL BE REQUIRED. PLEASE ARRIVE 30 MINUTES FOR THE CAR SHUTTLE ALL HIKES WILL LEAVE THE TRAILHEAD AT 9:00AM.

Birding by kayak on the Silver River with Marion Audubon Society

Join Sandhill Chapter FTA along with Marion Audubon Society for birding by kayak on the Silver River. Meet at Silver Springs State Park (Main Entrance) Kayak Launch at 9:00 a.m.. You may rent your kayak at the kayak concession table as soon as you arrive. If you have your own kayak launch fee is $6 and you must bring life vest with a whistle. All kayakers are required to bring water, sun hat, lunch and a snack. Total time is four hours on the river. We will stop for a break at the ramp, which has bathrooms and tables, two miles downstream. Total distance is four miles. We need a volunteer to enter our birding results on ebird app. HTTPS://ebird.org. This app is free.

Past events (594)

Activity Leader Workshop

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Photos (16,029)

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