What we’re about
June 4th, 2021
This group is operated by the Florida Trail Association.
We are a community who love to get outdoors to hike, backpack, paddle, and give back by way of volunteer trail maintenance.
Joining this Meetup does not constitute membership in the FTA and unless specifically mentioned, you are not required to hold an FTA membership to participate. Events which are FTA Members Only will be clearly indicated.
The Suncoast Chapter serves over 500 FTA members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. We maintain The Florida National Scenic Trail between US 98 north of Lakeland and Hernando.
Within these boundaries we also maintain a section of the Florida Trail Western Corridor which encompasses the Citrus, Croom, Richloam Tracts within Withlacoochee State Forest, and Green Swamp West, as well as popular loop trails within these tracts.
Trail systems that we also are responsible for include Hillsborough River State Park, Little Manatee State Park, Myakka River State Park, Potts Preserve, Upper Hillsborough WMA, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park, and Withlacoochee River Park.
Our chapter regularly maintains over 200 miles of trail and offers recreational and volunteer work events throughout the region.
We work in cooperation with the US Forest Service, State Forest Service, SWFWMD, DEP, and other land managers to keep the Florida National Scenic Trail, the Western Corridor, and designated side trails open for recreational use.
We sponsor many events on non FTA designated land tracts, trail systems and waterways.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK
Certain risks are inherent in any Florida Trail Association, Inc (the "Association") activity. Each Association member, guest, or non-member participant agrees to accept personal responsibility for his or her safety, and the safety of minors accompanying such persons.
The Association cannot ensure the safety of any participants on hikes or activities. In participating in Association activities, each such person agrees to hold harmless and free from blame the Activity Leader(s) and the Association, its officers, directors, and members, for any accident, injury, or illness which might be sustained from participating in hikes or other Association activities. Neither the Association, Activity Leaders, nor land managers are in any way liable for any injury or illness I might sustain from participating in an Association activity.
By joining the Suncoast Chapter Meetup Group you are agreeing to the assumption of risk as stated above.
JOIN THE FLORIDA TRAIL ASSOCIATION
Upcoming events (4+)See all
- Devil's Creek Trail MaintenanceLacoochee Clay Sink Road, Florida, FL
We will lop, clear and mow about five miles of the Florida Trail, a.k.a the Florida National Scenic Trail, in the Richloam Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest. We will groom the trail south from Lacoochee Clay Sink Rd to Devil's Creek. If you haven't seen the long-awaited new bridge crossing Devil's Creek, this is your big chance! Then we will groom another 0.4 miles of the trail north of Lacoochee Clay Sink Rd.
I will bring the chapter loppers. If you prefer to use your own, bring them. Also, bring at least two quarts or liters of water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, eye protection, a hat, and heavy gloves. Long pants and long sleeve shirts are recommended. The trail may be flooded in spots, so bring shoes you don't mind getting wet. Bring lunch and a chair if you want to eat and chat after we finish. Please review the general trail maintenance job hazard analysis at https://floridatrail.org/volunteer-resources/. If you have any questions, leave a comment or message me.
- Hog Island Hike w/ Optional Camping (Reserve On Your Own)Hog Island Recreation Area, Campground & Kayak Launch, Bushnell, FL
Let's hike the Hog Island Trail in Withlacoochee State Forest. This is pristine and remote forest at its best! We'll do about 7-8 miles out and back. If interested, there are currently campsites available at Hog Island Campground on ReserveAmerica. I plan on staying the weekend, Fri-Sun. I know of a few others who will/might join us for the weekend.
WHEN: Saturday, October 7 @ 8:30AM sharp. Arrive by at least 8:15AM for check-in. Remember, early is on-time, on-time is late and late is left behind.
WHERE: Please see map for directions. When you enter the Hog Island Day Use Area, you'll see the trailhead and parking area a few hundred feet ahead on the left before you get to the campground. If you get to the campground loop, you've gone too far. Make sure you arrange for payment of the day use fee online ahead of time.
WHO: Despite the more pleasant temps, this will still be a strenuous hike. Fire road access in this area is poor. Please honestly assess your fitness for this hike because trail rescue will be difficult.
BRING: A great attitude, a disposition towards more primitive hiking trails, 2 liters of fluids, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray. It's tick season, dress accordingly.
NOTE: Limited to 20. If you can't go, please don't sign up. If you sign up and your plans change, please revise your rsvp status so the waitlisters get a shot. If MeetUp puts you on the waitlist, have faith because you'll most likely be added as we get closer to the event. If you plan on camping, message me directly and let me know.
See ya there!
- Silver Lake Camp, Hike, Potluck Lunch & FTA Suncoast Chapter Meeting31472 Silver Lake Rd, Brooksville, FL
FTA Suncoast Chapter FALL GET TOGETHER at Silver Lake - Camp, Hike, Bike, Paddle, Fish, Potluck lunch & Meeting
Saturday morning Stuart will lead an 8-10 mile out-and-back hike from the day use pavilion along the River Trail. Be at the pavilion at 8:00 AM to sign in.
Saturday morning Iris will lead a 5-7 mile out-and-back hike from the day use pavilion. Be at the pavilion at 8:30 AM to sign in.
Saturday morning TBD? - will be leading a 3.6 mile hike going through the Silver Lake Rec area and campgrounds. Meet at the pavilion at 9:30 for sign in for this nice leisurely hike.
Very special treat: Saturday afternoon, 3:30PM, Joni will lead a short bird watching hike! Bring your binoculars. Meet at the pavilion.
SUNDAY fun: Theresa will lead us for a kayak trip up the Withlacoochee River.
Meet 9AM at the picnic pavilion area boat ramp. Theresa will have 5 kayaks to loan including paddles & life jackets - 1st come 1st serve. Or bring your own boat.
Hikes are followed by a potluck lunch at the day use pavilion along with the FTA Suncoast Chapter meeting. Approx 12:30 ish...
FTA will be furnishing hot dogs/brats, buns, condiments, plates & cutlery. Please bring a potluck food item to add to the meal. We are asking for $5.00 donation from each person to cover food costs, pavilion rental. Payable at the pavilion at time of lunch.
Some activities to explore on your own or with a group. Prime hiking trails can be accessed from camp, as well as the paved Withlacoochee State Trail. All campgrounds have river access for paddlers and anglers.
If you are attending Saturday only, there is a $1.99 Florida State Forest Day Use Fee. Pay on the day of the event via the Web Store at https://floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com. If you don't have internet access, you may pay later.
There are three campgrounds at Silver Lake rec area: Silver Lake, Cypress Glen, & Crooked River. We usually base at Cypress Glen, where there is electricity. Some prefer Crooked River, less highway noise, more rustic, tents only, & non electric. Silver Lake campground is also available. It is right next to I-75 and you may need earplugs. All have clean drinking water and showers.
Reserve on your own via https://floridastateforests.ReserveAmerica.com. If things fill up, as Suncoast events often do, please offer to share a site with other campers.
Sunday morning breakfast, to be held at campsite #55 in Cypress Glen campground, Sue Bunge will have eggs, bacon, bread and butter. Please bring something to share or an FTA donation. Starts around 8:30.
https://www.fdacs.gov/content/download/82305/file/Silver-Lake-Brochure-102019.pdf (please note: the reservation web link in the brochure will not work if you include the "www.")
- Let us Give Thanks....at Little Manatee River State Park!Little Manatee River State Park, Wimauma, FL
LET US GIVE THANKS!
We will have our traditional pre Thanksgiving hike and camp weekend Nov 17th to the 19th at Little Manatee River State Park.
No cost primitive group camping for up to 40 or so will be available in the youth group site for Friday and Saturday. There are no facilities and restrooms are a 10 minute walk or short drive.
Those who would like to have closer access to restrooms, or more space, often make reservations in the family site. Normal camp fees apply.
SATURDAY morning:: TBD-David D? will lead a hike on the 3.5 mile loop starting at 8:30 am.
Trail permitting: the longer hike of 6 miles this year
Meet at the main trail on US hwy 301 at 8: 00 am Saturday morning for an 8:30 start time. The trail head is on the west side of hwy 301. It is 2.6 miles south of the intersection of 301 and SR 674. It is 0.4 mile north of Canoe Outpost if coming from the other direction. https://bit.ly/3y3DJ9V
This trail is one that Suncoast FTA maintains. Mike Williams is our Section Leader here
Requesting some volunteers to do some light maintenance on the trail which will mostly involve lopping and trimming as you go along. There may be several chapter owned loppers to loan.
You do not have to do maintenance. You can just hike if you want. It is a beautiful trail and we want everyone to get a taste of it....especially if you have never been here!
We will finish by no later than noon so we can all be back in time for lunch.
Saturday potluck lunch..
Mike & Ann W, will be preparing a fried turkey and a roasted turkey, YUM! And Cathy M will be carving them up! What a team!
Saturday afternoon potluck..about noon-ish... please bring a dish to pass and a $5 donation is requested to cover costs..
Planning on having the potluck event at the pavilion down by the river, . Signs will be posted where we will be parking. A camp chair is suggested. Restrooms are in close proximity
All day Friday and Saturday afternoon will be on your own with paddling, hiking, biking available.
Feel free to post comments to organize independent paddle, bike, hike outings.
SUNDAY morning breakfast TBD in the family campground , There is an open area near the restrooms,, please bring your camp chair.. FTA will be providing eggs, bacon, bread and butter.. please bring a dish to share or an FTA donation.
See you there!!