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Florida Trail - Panhandle Chapter Pages

THE NEXT STEP. Meetup members are encouraged to "take the next step" and become full members of the Florida Trail Association. . FTA membership requires a modest annual fee, but entitles the member to several valuable benefits including free training, preferred access to certain limited FTA activities, a subscription to the FTA magazine Footprint, and a subscription to the Chapter Newsletter Panhandle News. We support the FTA, whose mission statement is:

The Florida Trail Association builds, maintains, protects, and promotes the unique Florida National Scenic Trail (Florida Trail), along with a network of hiking trails throughout the state of Florida. Together with our partners, the Association provides opportunities for the public to contribute to meaningful volunteer work, engage in outdoor recreation, and participate in environmental education.

For information about the FTA and FTA membership, go to

HISTORY. The Panhandle Chapter of the Florida Trail Association was formed in 1982. Their first major Florida Trail project was construction of the East and West Pine Log trails in Pine Log State Forest. In the late 1980s the chapter extended the trail through "Moore's Pasture" from Pine Log State Forest all the way to Highway 77. In the 1990s, the chapter built the beautiful 18-mile Econfina Creek section, extending from the Highway 20 trailhead up to the Scott Rd trailhead. The trail between Pine Log State Forest and Highway 77 was closed years ago, so a long roadwalk connects between Pine Log State Forest and the Highway 20 trailhead at Econfina.

HOT SPOTS. Popular attractions for local hikers, located in the beautiful Econfina Creek section, are the spectacular "Fender" and "Two Penny" suspension bridges, built in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Many find the Florida Trail along Econfina Creek among the most attractive trails in the state of Florida. A hike along the remote East Pine Log Trail features a short section, marked with signs, that coincides with a historic military road build in the early 1800s. One of the chapter’s premiere events is the Annual Econfina Flower Hike, when we walk along about 5 miles of pristine Econfina Creek when the mountain laurel and wild azalea are in bloom, usually early April. Other popular chapter traditions are the Annual Moonlight Hike and Campfire, the Annual Hike to the Springs, and the Annual Holiday Bash.

CONTACTS. Contact information for the Panhandle Chapter leadership is listed below. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


Chairperson: Darryl Updegrove
Phone: 850 819-0414

Vice Chairperson: Jennifer Larck
Phone: 850 896-3073

Secretary: Sue Wiles
Phone: 850 890-6465

Treasurer: Bryan Durta
Phone: 850 234-3982

Activity Chair: Darryl Updegrove
Phone: 850 819-0414

Fundraising Chair: Lorraine Reder
Phone: 850 571-3919

Membership Chair: Steve Womack
Phone: 337 718-2882

Newsletter Editor: Melissa Updegrove
Phone: 850 319-9221

Trail Coordinator: Eric Lewis
Phone: 850 658-2676

Pine Log Section Leader: Al Hearn
Phone: 850 532-0089

Econfina Section Leader: Rick Tutunick
Phone: 850 624-3892

FTA Council Representative: Cathie Thompson
Phone: 850-866-2383

FTA Website:

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Useful Websites May 8, 2018 8:07 PM Darryl U.
Trail Maps May 8, 2018 7:28 PM Darryl U.
Activity Leaders September 21, 2018 7:38 PM Darryl U.
About Florida Trail - Panhandle Chapter December 22, 2018 6:27 PM Darryl U.

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