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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+)

Activity Leader Workshop

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

If you are already an FTA Activity Leader, if you wish to be an Activity Leader, or if you are just wondering about what it takes to become an authorized FTA Activity Leader then plan to attend this 1/2 day Saturday workshop. From 8:30 am to after noon the workshop will go over the qualifications and training path, run through participant and FTA expectations, discuss planning and preparation, and try to answer all of your questions. After the workshop we can go grab a late lunch together in one of the sandwich shops in Micanopy. If you have not done so recently, please download and bring the revised Activity Leaders Guide from the FTA website HERE (http://www.floridatrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Activity_Leader_Guide_April_28_2016-1.pdf) or you can find it at the bottom of the page HERE (http://www.floridatrail.org/activity-leader-resources/). Bring Activity Leader Guide, pencil/pen, drinks and a camp chair. If it's warm you might want to bring insect repellent. NOTE: A minimum of 4 people are required for this class. If 4 people are not registered for the class it will be rescheduled.

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]

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 (593)

Kayak Saturday - De Leon Springs - Spring Garden Creek

De Leon Springs State Park

Photos (16,016)

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