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, one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States. Based in 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, to facilitate the acquisition of land, to direct volunteer efforts, and to provide public outreach.
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:
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. 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.