What we're about

Founded in 1964, the Florida Trail Association is a private non-profit organization that oversees the volunteer effort to build, maintain, protect and promote the Florida Trail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_National_Scenic_Trail), one of eleven National Scenic Trails (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Scenic_Trail) in the United States. Based in Gainesville, FL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gainesville,_FL), the Florida Trail Association's mission also includes:

Building and maintaining hiking trails on public lands.

Providing educational opportunities for people to learn to appreciate and conserve the natural beauty of Florida.

Providing recreational opportunities for hiking and camping.

The Florida Trail Association works directly in concert with the federal land manager of the Florida Trail, the US Forest Service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USDA_Forest_Service), to facilitate the acquisition of land, to direct volunteer efforts, and to provide public outreach.

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The Tropical Trekkers is one of 18 chapters and 1 subchapter that form the Florida Trail Association. We help build and maintain the Florida National Scenic Trail as well as a variety of side trails and local trails throughout the State of Florida. Our Chapter serves Martin County, St. Lucie County and Okeechobee County. We maintain the Florida Trail along the Kissimmee River from Okeetantie Recreation Area (near Okeechobee) through the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Loop and side trails maintained within the Florida Trail System include Hickory Hammock and Bluff Hammock trails north of Okeechobee within the Kissimmee River flood plain, Seabranch State Park, the Hawk's Bluff Trail in the Savannas Preserve State Park and the new Rafael Sanchez Trail in Okeechobee Ridge Park. Chapter members donate hundreds of hours each year to accomplish this work. If you enjoy hiking, backpacking, camping, eco-volunteering and having FUN this is the group for you! Come join us on any of our regular monthly outings. We look forward to meeting you.

One must understand that joining this Meetup site does not automatically make you a member of the Florida Trail Association. "Real" membership requires becoming a paid member of the FTA. Please consider joining at:

Florida Trail Association Membership (http://www.floridatrail.org/make-a-difference/become-a-member/)

FTA membership is not mandatory to hike our trails, but it is encouraged. To join the Florida Trail Association which includes membership in the Tropical Trekkers go to www.FloridaTrail.org (http://www.floridatrail.org/). Members receive many benefits, including automatic membership in the your local chapter 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 Florida Trail Footprint newsletter; free trail maintenance training workshops, including chainsaw certification; free participation in F-Troop, 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 hiking issues; and voting privileges.

Activities are organized by authorized activity leaders. Participants in activities must sign an Assumption of Risk form and agree to accept personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of accompanying minors. Always contact (phone call) the activity leader in advance for more information, to let them know you are attending, and to find out about any special requirements for a trip.

Upcoming events (5+)

Hike Pine Glades Natural Area

Pine Glades Natural Area

Please come on this 6 to 6 1/2 mile hike. We'll meet at the kiosk in the parking lot. If you like bird watching come at 7:00 AM to spot some water birds. You'll be on your own for that first hour. We will leave the parking area at 8 am. Please email me for details and driving directions.

FNST Trail Work - No Name Slough

Starvation Slough

Trail Work- Meet at 8 AM at the pavilion at Starvation Slough at the end of paved Micco Bluff Road, Okeechobee at 8am for work on No Name Slough. We need to move some downed trees, lop, mow and blaze. We will carpool closer to the work site. This is also a great opportunity to view the amazing fence relocation by the Dean Prescott family that makes it possible for us to bring our equipment into this remote and difficult location. Please wear appropriate clothing for trail work, including closed toe shoes and sun protection. Wear gloves and bring long handled loppers. Bring a bag lunch and lots of water.

Backpacking Trip - Olustee Creek Campsite to White Springs on the FNST

Join us to hike 50 miles from Olustee Creek Campsite to White Springs on the Florida National Scenic Trail. Limited to 5 Florida Trail Association members. Must have prior backpacking experience. Please contact Louise Cuhna for additional details: [masked] or call[masked]

Florida Trail Association "I DID A HIKE 2019" Annual Fundraiser

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground

Come hike a new Ididahike section of the Florida National Scenic Trail along the historic and beautiful Suwannee River. Register for the hike between 8:00AM and 11:00AM. Last year the Ididahike donated $5000 to the Florida Trail and this coming year we are bringing the wildly successful event to a new and exciting location Spirit of the Suwannee Campground and Music Park. Participants will pay $20 and register at the main gate of Spirit of the Suwannee Campground and Music Park to be shuttled via bus to Jerry Branch a Suwannee River Water Management access point to the river and trail. The Ididahike is approximately 11 miles with first aid and take out stations to be announced. This time of year dogwoods, wild Azaleas, fringe flowers and many others will be in full bloom. The hike passes High above Jerry Branch, passes Disappearing Creek a beautiful clear creek that cuts a narrow canyon which cascades into a 25 foot wall of rock and disappears. Continuing on hikers cross Crooked branch then climbs on high to the highest bluff on the Suwannee River. From this perch you may look out over the top of the trees on the opposite bank and peer down on the historic Suwannee below. Hiking down river, the trail passes numerous rock outcrops 20 and 30 feet above the river along with beautiful white sandbars offering great places to take a break. Near the end of the hike participants will cross the Suwannee on the old 129 Truss bridge and have the option to visit the ruins of the historic Suwannee mineral Spring before they finish. For those of you that are not familiar with the Spirit of the Suwannee here is a link https://www.musicliveshere.com The park is famous for numerous outdoor music festivals and borders the Suwannee River with many hiking trails as well as access to the Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida's equivalent to the famous Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Many of the North Florida Trailblazers FT chapter will be camping and RVing at the park Thursday thru Monday to set up and run this event so we invite all hikers and campers to come out and make the Ididahike a part of a weekend or long weekend. The Trailblazer will also organize short day hikes on Friday and Sunday for those interested. Please come join us on Friday night for a FTA group campfire. Spirit of the Suwannee offers a wide range of accommodations including 600 improved campsites, comfortable cabins, live music Friday and Saturday, a fully stocked bar and restaurant. Please call Carol Walker at Spirit of the Suwannee for a 10% discount for camping accommodations.

Past events (390)

Hike Dupuis Management Area

Halpatiokee Regional Park

Photos (3,363)