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FooTprint The Magazine of the Florida Trail Association

Spring 2014

What’s Inside? FAB on the Florida Trail Juniper F-Troop The “Big Cypress 10” Panhandle Regional Conference Recap

Your #Floridatrail FTA on Instagram

@sizzlemayfield: Osceola National Forest @notpmekgerg: Niceville, FL

@grrlsuzy: Big Cypress

Facebook and Instagram users have been “hash tagging” (the use of # in front of a word to group them, making them searchable across many social media platforms) and posting their Florida Trail photos on Instagram. Check out these Instagram users and their experiences on the #floridatrail. On Instagram? Post your Florida Trail photos and hashtag #floridatrail. Your photo may be featured in the next issue of The Footprint !

@nickandbruce: “Aucilla River Rapids” photo by Greywolf

@cenbollines: “Perfect weather over the week end for 15.2 miles of hiking and camping.”

@mrcwoo: “Day 1. The sun starts to bow to the night” Big Cypress

The Footprint


In this issue 4 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 24 25 26

President’s Message Trail Business FNST Volunteer Program Membership Report Volunteer Spotlight My Florida Trail Experience Juniper Wilderness F-Troop This Man Called Bruce Chapter Roundup Panhandle Regional Conference Recap 2014 Ocean to Lake Backpacking Trip The “Big Cypress 10” Chapters on the Go New Members Donor Than You Local Chapter Contacts

Photo Credits Front cover Megan Donoghue Florida Alternative Spring Break This page Sandra Moody Longleaf Forest Back Cover Paul Cummings Okeeheelee Park

President’s Message Carlos Schomaker FTA President

I just got back from the 17th “Hike the Hill” in Washington, D.C. This is the annual event where the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS), its member organizations, and the American Hiking Society (AHS) relay our concerns and requests to Federal land managers and Congress. It’s also an opportunity to meet with leaders of these organizations and agencies, formally and informally. It’s where we talk with everyone about the thirty National Scenic and Historic Trails. This year we had extra time for talk, since the large February 11–14 North American winter storm kept most of us trapped in D.C. for a few more days. Blasting up the East coast, the blizzard forced the cancellation of over 6500 flights, adding days of travel limbo for those of us trying to get home. Once the snow was on the ground and melting into slush, we could move around the city, but transport home was backlogged and tangled up. The down time allowed for commiserating and “hanging out” with other stranded Hike the Hill (HTH) participants. Between the scheduled events and the extended lounge time, I got a deeper understanding of the national community of leaders helming our national trails. Some of them, like newly retired Steve Elkinton of the National Park Service, are linchpins of the national trail community. (You may remember Steve from a presentation he did at the FTA annual conference a few years back.) Most of the people attending HTH carry a mix of idealism and pragmatism, hard work and knowledge combined with positive spirit. Sometimes they sound like civic planners; occasionally they sound like hippies. This was evident one evening when I entered the lounge in the HTH hotel and found an impromptu acoustic guitar folk circle being led by Teresa Martinez, Barney Mann, and Mark Larabee. It was a campfire circle---in a hotel bar in the nation’s capital. Teresa is a founding Board member of the new Continental Divide Trail In the face of tight budgets, legislative Coalition (see the back page of the March 2014 issue drama and gridlock, increasingly of Backpacker Magazine for a nice article about her). stringent requirements, and endless Barney is a retired attorney and chairs the Board of challenges, people are working and the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) (see page dreaming and planning for these 64 of the same magazine for an article by him!). And trails to be a larger part of our Mark is the managing editor of the PCTA’s magazine, American heritage. The Communicator. All of them are consummate professionals and starry-eyed outdoor wanderers. All of them employ technical proficiency, insight, and passion in the service of the national trails community. All of them are heroic, in their own way. Being snowbound in D.C. also presented an extra opportunity to visit the museums and monuments on the National Mall. History, heroism, talent and achievement are celebrated in these two miles of classical architecture and open public space. The USDA Forest Service and National Park Service offices adjoin this national treasure, linked by an imaginary diagonal line on opposite sides of the Washington Monument. We—everyone who has ever had anything to do with the FTA and the Florida National Scenic Trail---are a part of what’s celebrated on the Mall, this American timeline. This is especially true when we, collectively or individually, use our passion and



professional bearing to broaden the American experience by building a ‘commons’ of outdoor opportunity, and protecting wild places. In Washington, meeting with so many dedicated people who are working to ensure that the National Scenic and Historic Trails are adequately supported, this is clearly evident. In the face of tight budgets, legislative drama and gridlock, increasingly stringent requirements, and endless challenges, people are working and dreaming and planning for these trails to be a larger part of our American heritage. Some of these folks wear government uniforms. Some wear Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff badges. Some are volunteers for a little-known Historic Trail. All of them should be appreciated for their commitment. I finally caught a plane last night—four days late-- and am now home in Florida. It’s easy, from an FTA perspective, to forget that our trail efforts are part of a larger national movement, or are a gift to posterity. It’s also easy, from the familiar comfort of a local chapter or trail crew or group of friends, to miss the connection to a statewide FTA effort, or to the value of strength in numbers. It’s tempting to believe that the point of all this is a few dozen thru-hikers annually, or a group of friends that like to get dirty while clearing trail or hiking it, or an annual conference, or a committee meeting. All these things are valid, of course, and a part of the tapestry. But they’re not the whole story. You can’t see a single mile of the FNST from Hike the Hill. You can’t feel the FNST under your feet as you move through the American monuments and museums on the National Mall. But, in some ways, that’s a great time and place to grasp the meaning of the FNST.

New South FNST Terminus Marker Bob DeGross, Chief of Interpretation and Public Affairs for Big Cypress National Preserve, sent along this photo of the new Southern FNST terminus at Oasis Ranger Station. We’d like to thank the Big Cypress National Preserve maintenance crew David Adams, Dusty Torre, Pete Roth, Bill Joiner and others for getting this installed just in time for hiking season. Now thru-hikers, section hikers, and day hikers alike have a nice monument to photograph to commemorate their hikes



What is YOUR Stewardship Role? Webster’s loosely defines stewardship as: the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something. The Florida Trail Association (FTA) was formed to build and maintain the Florida Trail aka the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST). This remains the primary duty and function of the FTA. Everything else we do is in support of our FNST stewardship role. FTA is the not-for-profit steward and the USDA Forest Service is the primary governmental agency tasked with FNST stewardship. This, of course, is an over simplification because there are many FNST partners, both private and governmental, that are stewards of their segments of the FNST. On the FTA side there are 18 chapters who have accepted responsibility and stewardship for the FNST in their locales. This Stewardship Role for the FNST has a lot of moving parts and partners. What is unique to the FTA is that FNST stewardship is the reason we exist. FTA members like to do a lot of outdoorsy things but as an organization they are all in support and furtherance of our FNST Stewardship. Eighteen FTA Chapters makes for a maze of diverse terrains, volunteer experiences, personalities and opinions. Yep, and those strong personalities on occasion have strong disagreements. While we are FNST stewards, we do not own the FNST. Sweat equity YES, but not ownership. The FNST belongs to everyone. What is the stewardship role of an individual FTA member? For me it’s: 1. insuring we have a strong FTA through membership and donations; and 2. volunteering my time and energy to both the FTA and the FNST. I’m confident that the majority of FTA members share these values.

While we are FNST stewards, we do not own the FNST. The FNST belongs to everyone.

Statewide vs. Local: When I started working on the FNST I adopted a very localized chapter and trails perspective. This is not uncommon and to a small degree acceptable. But having an abundance of chapter members with this perspective is detrimental to statewide unity and commonality of purpose.



Participation in multi-chapter events, trainings and FTA conferences results in a wider understanding of the FNST, the FTA’s role and organization structure that provides a mission focus. While FTA members may like to hike, FTA is not a hiking club. We will always have volunteers who are primarily focused on trail work activities. Even these members would benefit from trails skill training, exposures to new tools and techniques provided at these functions. Needless to say this also applies to all chapter members and especially chapter leaders, not just trail leaders. FNST Standards: In the context of the FNST maintenance you will often hear or see the phrase ‘up to standards’. What does this mean? At our September 2012 Trails Committee Meeting we introduced the FNST - Trail Class Matrix and Design Parameters. When developing proposed hiking trails or improving existing trails these are the standards that are to be applied. Chapter Trail Coordinators and Section Leaders are expected to be have a working knowledge of the both the Trail Class Matrix and Design Parameters. Knowledge of these standards is fundamental to selecting how a trail segment is to be constructed. It is even more important that the standards be applied when developing a new trail. Questions: 1. Is the ‘Orange Blaze’ unique to the FNST in Florida? 2. Is the ‘Orange Blaze’ a brand that is recognizable in Florida as the FNST?

Thank You 2014 Annual Conference Sponsors & Donors (as of press-time) Birkenstock - California Black Creek Outfitters - Jacksonville Linda Benton Brasington’s Outdoor Adventures - Gainesville Brevard Nature Alliance - Titusville Carl Dunnam Enlightened Equipment - Minnesota Florida Outdoor Academy - Gainesville Fresh Market - Gainesville Gatorade - Chicago Fred and Laura Goldstein Jet Boil - New Hampshire Jim Kern - St Augustine Lightload Towels Pearl’s Country Store - Micanopy REI - Jacksonville Strike Zone Fishing - Jacksonville Subaru - Gainesville Warbonnet Outdoors - Colordao Wild Birds Unlimited - Gainesville ZPacks - Palm Bay



a FAB Weekend of Service on the FNST It is a chilly, Florida weekend in February. All over the nation, University students are looking forward to the long MLK weekend. It’s likely that some students are spending their weekend taking a mini vacation, some spending it studying, but some decided to spend it giving back. Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service is nationally recognized as a day to give back to in your local community. It’s a day to put into action what resonates in King’s famous quote, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” The University of Florida’s Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB) program partnered with the Florida Trail Association (FTA) to provide a group of students for a weekend of service on the Florida Trail. This trail crew was a little different than the usual, but for me, made the project really exciting. The crew was made up of a 13 female students who had never met prior to this trip.

The first half of the project took place at the site of one of the recently built Spring Creek bridges in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The area was in need of a little trail rehabilitation. The crew worked diligently to rehab the section of trail by using various techniques, one of which is called “vertical mulching”. Vertical mulching is typically used to disguise a disturbed area to allow for eventual natural regeneration of the area’s typical vegetation, such as palmettos. The second half of the project consisted of trail maintenance on a nearby section of the Florida Trail. The crew had the opportunity to run brush saws and use hand saws and loppers. At one point, the crew worked together to figure out how to move a very large tree that had fallen in a recent storm. The tree had already been bucked (the process of cutting a tree into logs), but the logs were very large to move. This task brought out the best out of the girls and really made a good end to a great weekend.



Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “ What are you doing for others?” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the end of the last day, we celebrated the weekend’s accomplishments by taking a hike on the Florida Trail. The work that this all-female crew did will be appreciated by future trail users, the local community, and hopefully recognized by other university students as a destination for their next alternative break. Providing a path into nature is not only a recreational opportunity, but also an opportunity to expose people to the wonders of the natural world, therefore instilling in them the urge to protect and preserve it for future generations.

A huge thanks to the University of Florida’s FAB program, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and their generosity in letting the crew stay in the Thompson House, Framing Our Community (FOC) and of course the awesome volunteers!



FTA STATEWIDE MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN March 8, 2014 to April 26, 2014

Join in the fun! FTA is setting a goal to recruit 100 new members in 6 weeks. A state-wide membership campaign will be held between the March 8 Annual Conference through April 26, 2014. By ending on April 26, we are allowing an extra few days of recruitment after Easter Week observances April 13-20 and Passover on April 15.

Join in the excitement! There will be rewards earned for memberships! Individual and family memberships joining FTA for the first time during these dates will receive their choice of a 2014 coffee mug or a “Tools of the Trail” t-shirt. Current members giving a gift membership to a family member or friend will receive their choice of two FTA wine glasses or a “Tools of the Trail” t-shirt. The Chapter recruiting the most members during this time period will receive a $100 gift certificate from Home Depot. For Questions or Further Information: email Eve Barbour, VP Membership: Eve828@netzero.net



VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - Shining a Light on FTA Volunteers Cary Beuershausen Trail Coordinator, North Florida Trail Blazers FTA: When did you start volunteering with FTA? CB: I became a FTA volunteer in 2011 after pursuing Activity Leader training. FTA: How did you get involved with the FTA? CB: I joined the FTA in 2008 when I put my hiking boots back on. I wanted to help with something local and the Florida Trail was the nearest “big trail”. FTA: What do you do now? CB: In 2012, I became my chapter’s Trail Coordinator. While I initially wanted to lead recreational hikes, trail maintenance now consumes most of my hiking during the Florida season. I enjoy it, though, because there’s a tangible reward at the end, both in seeing the result of your labor and in the knowledge that others will have a more enjoyable experience hiking the section in the future. FTA: What is your favorite event/project to date that you have participated in? CB: Speaking at both the regional and state conferences is high on the list. I have a passion for sharing my passion. :) FTA: What is your favorite part about being an FTA Volunteer? CB: Aside from the fame and fortune? I guess I’d have to say the warm and fuzzy from giving back to the Trail. FTA: Your favorite section of the trail? CB: I’d have to go with the Suwannee section.


My florida trail experience Allison Williams Former Student Conservation Associatoin Volunteer Coordinator Osceola National Forest I’ve experienced the Florida Trail in a number of different ways since I first found out about the Florida Trail Association in 2012. I have been a Fellow at the Osceola National Forest since April 2012 and recently ended my second term as the Student Conservation Association Fellow in December 2013. On top of my volunteer and community outreach coordinator duties, I was an active volunteer with three different chapters. The North Florida Trail Blazers (Jacksonville) where I am an Activity leader, the Florida Crackers (Gainesville) where I record volunteer hours and help with outreach and last the Apalachee Chapter (Tallahassee) where I attend meetings, volunteer opportunities and join activities. I have found something crazy interesting while working and volunteering with each chapter and visiting their natural areas that expose beautiful pieces of the Florida Trail. I wanted to experience an F-Troop before I leave the great state of Florida and I did October 2013 – January 2014 when I was able to take part in three F-Troops. I participated in two bridge building projects in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and a third in the Osceola National Forest. On the Osceola we removed a bridge and performed trail maintenance from Turkey Run trailhead to Deep Creek, which was a section I hadn’t previously seen. The F-Troops in the St. Marks NWR really changed my perception about learning to use new hand tools, techniques and pushing myself physically to explore this natural wildlife refuge that we were working in. Both bridge projects had the awesome Florida Trail guys that work with “Framing our Community” giving great advice and really showing “us” volunteers how to construct the different components of bridging and letting us do the work. I was fortunate to be able to walk all three sections of Spring Creek before the end of the F-Troop with the Florida Trail Volunteer Coordinator Megan Donoghue. We started at the Spring Creek Trailhead and crossed the new bridge that leads into the second section that hasn’t received a new bridge yet. This section is very challenging and the sign that reads “Tidal Creek, No Bridge” should not be taken lightly! As we kept trekking forward after reading that sign we found ourselves hiking through low tide mud, balancing on logs, using binoculars to find the orange blaze, and making it through this small section of the tidal creek ending up in the most beautiful patch of deer moss I have ever seen. We then continued through the section, still having to dance in the mud and finally made it to the third spring creek bridge, the area where the F-Troop #2 was going on. Hiking that small section made me realize how important bridges and causeways are for accessibility on the Florida Trail for sections like Spring Creek in St. Marks NWR.



Juniper Wilderness F-Troop: January 10-17, 2014 Linda Taylor, Halifax - St Johns Chapter

Another successful January F-Troop in the Juniper Wilderness! We have held these F-Troops for many years because the Wilderness is nine miles across with no intersecting roads. We have to hike into the half-way point from each end and then work back out with hand tools because power tools are not allowed in designated wilderness areas. While we don’t like to think that our chapter members are getting older, we were so happy to have some younger people working with us. Dick Schuler’s grandsons, Connor and Micah, led the long distance group to the middle work areas on the opening weekend. Unfortunately they had to go back to school on Monday The Juniper crew always eats well! We had five out-of-state volunteers -- three of them returning for their sixth year. Each day they would check the temperatures and snow fall back home. Alexia flew from Cleveland for not only her first volunteer work week, but her very first camping trip. After days of swinging a Suwannee Sling, she still wants to come back next year.

Probably the only discouraging thing about the week was after working on the trail for five days, we got a radio message about noon from the Ocala Forest Service that we needed to be out of the Wilderness by 2:00 p.m. because they were going to do a prescribed burn. We haven’t heard yet how the burn affected the trail. But being chased off that section of FNST gave us a chance to go up to Grassy Pond to remove over a dozen fallen trees from the trail.

Special thanks to our awesome volunteers! Group shot at the south end of the Juniper Prairie Wilderness Area.


This man called bruce

Mary Ellen Milton, Highlanders Chapter The Highlanders Chapter of FTA recently honored a long time member, Bruce Hobson. Bruce has been a valuable member of the chapter. He has served on the FTA board. His favorite job has always been trail maintenance and he even provided storage space for our trailer & some equipment at his house. In recent years he has collected our aluminum cans, storing them at his house & selling them when the market was high. The cans are a big source of funds for our chapter. Bob Schultz, Highlanders chapter Poet Laureate wrote the following poem to express our love for Bruce Hobson. THIS MAN CALLED BRUCE Listen my friends, please listen well Of this man you’ll now hear me tell He came south like the Canada Goose This northern man, this man called Bruce The Mason/Dixon he did cross To Live Oak and Spanish moss Leaving Fir, Beech and Red Spruce Leaving Boston, this man called Bruce

He salvaged cans headed for trash And converted all them to cash In addition, waste piles reduce Figured it all, this man called Bruce And our treasure, he helped us grow Our gratefulness, we’d like to show Through the applause, we now produce To thank our man, this man called Bruce

Florida’s trail was what he found And to trail buddies he was bound He liked these folks, was no recluse And joined their work, this man called Bruce The call went out, the trail needs work For this man was not one to shirk He pitched right in, with no excuse And helped clear trails, this man called Bruce There came a time more was needed A special job to which he heeded Had asked him for a special use To serve their group, this man called Bruce Most of you here must remember That this man was made a member To the state board we turned him loose To speak for us, this man called Bruce And when his board man work was done Another job he had begun Collecting cans, he did deduce Had much value, this man called Bruce



Joan and Bruce Hobson doing trail maintenance.

CHAPTER ROUND-UP Highlanders Fall Frenzy After a lazy summer the Highlanders Chapter has geared up for a busy fall and winter schedule. We started with a leisurely tubing trip on a slow stream, then walked a series of four short “warm up hikes.” We enjoyed camping trips to Torreya State Park and St. Joseph’s Peninsula State Park. We went on an out of state camping trip to Georgia where we visited Providence Canyon and Roosevelt State Park. We stumbled during the government shut-down, but soon resumed a busy work hike schedule and have completed 8 chapter work hikes and 16 other days when members were working on trails. We helped with a major 4 mile trail re-route in the Ocala National Forest and have flagged another re-route for completion later in the year. We brought in a rainy New Year with the Central Florida Chapter at the traditional Doe Lake Camp. We are now participating in the Winter Wednesday Hiking Series. Loxahatchee Chapter This year, in addition to the 100 miles of Florida Trail we maintain in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, we had the additional opportunity to revise the trail system in JDSP to improve the 2 loop trails and re-route portions of the OTLHT eliminating most of the management road walks and avoiding the proposed multi-use trail planned for the park. Working closely with the Park during most of 2013, details of the revised system were ready to implement in October. On October 12th 40 volunteers showed up to re-blaze and re-route the 2 loops (one a white trail and the other green) and re-route and decommission parts of the OTLHT. Bea Rogers did a magnificent job planning and executing this project. Bea now turned her attention to the rest of the trail and all proceeded well with good weather and the support of the so called Week Day Work Crew (Dean, Sally Davies, Craig Custer, Fred Davis, Tony Rawson, Roy Moore, Jeff Koons and Scott Lundsford) until November 9th when Bea broke her ankle during a routine work hike along the C-18 canal. Fortunately we were able to get her off the trail and to the Jupiter Medical Center in less than an hour. The break was significant and required surgery to repair so our field general was now confined to her lazy boy chair. Fred Davis assumed the role of Activity Leader for the subsequent work days but our bad luck was just beginning. During the remainder of November we had equipment break downs on 4 successive work days and Sally Davies also suffered an injury to her knee. However we persevered and were able to keep mostly on schedule. Unseasonal rains in January meant some soggy days in the field but at least the weather was cool. The South Florida Water Management District helped out by mowing most of the loop trails in DuPuis and The Fish and Wildlife Commission has supported us with buggy transportation in the Corbett WMA. Good planning, an experienced work crew and strong working relationships with our land management partners allowed us to overcome what has been a challenging trail maintenance season. Western Gate For the last few months Florida Trail Association (FTA) volunteers have been adding two additional miles to the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) on the Eglin AFB Reservation. An essential part of the trail building task is the removal of plants and small trees from the pathway. In trail circles this is called Grubbing. Caroling of Wholeo.net has produced two grubbing training videos to help train and familiarize the uninitiated. Please view them and thank Caroling for her time and hard work in this effort. These are just two of several FTA videos she is developing. Traditional Grubbing - http://vimeo.com/85363964 Grubbing Pullerbear style - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuWM2XJq5ts&feature=youtu.be Training videos by Coraling of wholeo.net - http://wholeo.net/index1.htm




panhandle regional conference - Wakulla Walkabout recap by Wendy Dial, Howard Pardue, & Linda Patton, Apalachee Chapter

Last November’s Panhandle Regional Gathering, the “Wakulla Walkabout”, hosted by the Apalachee Chapter, was a good reminder of what we all love about FTA and outdoor Florida. The three-day gathering, held at Camp Indian Springs in Crawfordville, was a sampler of the many places to hike or enjoy other outdoor activities in Wakulla County--the unspoiled “other” Florida and ”The Natural Place to be in Florida.” Conference-goers stayed in tents or bunkhouses at the Camp or at the lovely Wakulla Springs Lodge. Weekend meals were catered by FTA Life member Carolyn Pardue. Hikers explored Leon Sinks Geological Area, portions of the FNST in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and along the Sopchoppy River, and the historic San Marcos de Apalache fort. Thanks to the partnership with Wakulla Springs State Park, there were boat tours on the Wakulla River and a special birding hike. Back at Camp Indian Springs there were talks on the latest outdoor gear by J. C. Gayhartt of Trail and Ski Outfitters, and on becoming a better outdoor photographer by Nick Baldwin. Our keynote speaker was the very first thruhiker of the Florida National Scenic Trail, Steve Sheridan. Early in the morning there was a session of yoga for hikers, and after dark the Tallahassee Astronomical Society provided telescopes for stargazing. T-shirts designed especially for the event were for sale. To top off all those activities, there were delicious shared meals, a very successful raffle, and opportunities for conversation with kindred spirits, along with warming drinks and Old Time Music by the bonfire. Overheard comments: “The best hiking for me so far in Florida,” “I saw more wildlife this weekend than I have in my whole life,” “Fantastic guest speakers, great raffle and prizes,” “Very well organized, fun-filled and busy weekend,” and “Best food I ever had at an FTA Conference.” The Gathering showed what talented and dedicated people can do when they work together. Special thanks go to lead organizer Dawn Griffin, the almost four dozen other volunteers who made it happen, and the phenomenal partners who donated raffle and registration-bag items, staff time, an area map, tours, and much more.


The “Big Cypress 10” Take on

Christopher Boykin, FTA Southeast Regional Coordinator

Leah - 31 Captain

Carlos - 38 IT Manager

Heidi - 34 Professor

Casey - 24 Consultant

Megan - 28 Student


During the course of 2013, I led about 30 hikes on the Florida Trail (FT) and made some really terrific new friends. We got to see a black bear, mating cottonmouths, an innocuous water snake being envenomated by a cottonmouth and hear/see the death whistles of a leopard frog being eaten by an Everglades racer. It was a good year. Friendships were built and we explored virtually all the trails in our backyard, as well as several off-trail exploratory trips, cypress domes and canoe trips. The one thing we didn’t get to was the Tamiami Trail (41) to Alligator Alley (I75). A 3-day hike spanning what is hailed to be the 30 hardest miles of the FT through mud, water and ankle-breaking, young-man-tripping limestone caprock and solution holes. As the rainy season ended (it actually hasn’t seemed to end this year in south Florida), the most appropriate time to tackle a 3-day hike is a 3-day holiday, so we selected the Martin Luther King holiday in January. The next step was to assemble our team. The adventure was limited to Florida Trail Association members and folks who have hiked with us in the watery mud of Big Cypress before. We had two conference calls to plan the hike and a whole meeting dedicated to Backpacking 101 to cover the basics as folks prepared for the trip. Sixteen people signed up for the trip, though in the end we were ten (gotta love the integrity of Facebook RSVP’s). Of note was a man that I didn’t know who was flying in from Maryland to the hike with us! Maryland? Really? Turns out Daryl Wells is a bit of a FTA legend. Daryl had led this very trip more than 25 times over the last 30 years, had several leadership roles with local chapters and the state board. It was quite the honor to have him join us. Terminus to 10-Mile Camp Folks showed up at the Oasis Visitor Center in Big Cypress National Preserve at 7:30 am and the games began. We weighed packs and surprisingly all came in between 23-30 pounds. Nina Dupuy “Mama Cypress” from the Big Cypress Chapter, as well as a young Colombian film major from FIU joined us for day 1. Our mileage was 9.6 miles and we knew this would be the easiest day of the journey. We stopped about 3-miles in to have a short break at the blue loop and then continued on to 7-mile camp for lunch and a few of us may have napped. After the break, Daryl led us to the remains of an old plane crash in a cypress dome, where we also found an attractive Florida water snake, during which a National Park Service law enforcement ranger with what looked to be an AK 47 startled us. He was out there patrolling on his swamp buggy, which several got to check out. We made it to 10-mile camp by 3:30pm and had a relaxing afternoon and evening by the fire. Onward & Upward to Oak Hill Camp Day 2 started a little slow, as temperatures dropped to near freezing and there


florida’s hardest 3-day hike was frost/ice on a few backpacks/tents. We pushed off at 9:30, which was a mistake, considering most of us reach Oak Hill Camp by headlamp about an hour after sunset. It was however, my favorite part of the trip. We were spread out a little as the 14 miles was kicking our collective arses and the change of light was just magical. I was happy, grateful and present in the silence as night fell and my only company was the constant sound of splashing water with each step. As we entered camp, Antonio made a video diary of each of us, which was nice. Oak Hill is a terrific site and we all retired relatively early as we knew that day-3, though only 8-miles, is the toughest with constant water and mud the entire way. Trudging towards Alligator Alley We exited Oak Hill Camp, the same way we entered, with Antonio filming us for his mini-documentary. It was fun to see the various smiles and reactions, despite some pain. It seemed we would never reach Ivy Camp, but once we did, we indulged in a nice 45-minute break. We took solace in knowing the last mileage would be a little easier on the old buggy road as we’d have better footing on firmer ground, though still lots of water. The group reached Alligator Alley by 3:30 where we were picked up by a great friend who not only drove 150 miles for us, but took orders for beer, soda and sugary things to greet us with. A highlight of the entire trip was seeing it reflected in Daryl’s eyes and kind smile. It was moving to know that he has hiked this trial so many times and still marvels at it with childlike wonder. It was a beautiful, difficult and bonding experience for all of us. We certainly get how and why Big Cypress helped the Seminoles win the war. Yay! View an 8-minute video of the trip on Youtube at http://youtube/GZW62qq-gHw

Amos - 21+ Neurosurgeon

Antonia - 31 Insurance

Daryl - 54 Programmer

Christopher - 41 Communications

Flex - 39 Explorer


chapters on the go! Choctawhatchee Snow on the FT

Suncoast/Fla Crackers/Halifax-St Johns Western Corridor Hike Series North Florida Trail Blazers Olustee Maintenance

Western Gate Dunes Maintenance

Loxahatchee Safety Briefing

Central Florida Annual New Years Eve Campout






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e TRAIL PROTECTION FUND Supports land acquisition and trail construction projects with the ultimate goal of protecting the trail corridor and completing the entire Florida Trail. Independently funds programs like F-Troop, trail crews, and outreach to implement programs wherever they are needed within the Florida Trail System.

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The Footprint Magazine Submission Guidelines Without the help of FTA members and volunteers, there is no magazine. We strongly encourage your submission of photos and content for every issue. Photos: We are looking for high resolution (300dpi) photos for publication. Make sure that if they are photos of people that they have signed the necessary photo release - included on the FTA Release. We are always looking for cover photos, which need to be vertical format and at least 300dpi. Pictures can include: People hiking on the trail Trail maintenance/training activities Flora and fauna on the trail



Articles: We hope for contributions from the various chapters highlighting events and accomplishments, especially those that involve new groups and outreach opportunities. We also look for unique hiking stories from members, and articles regarding anything that pertains to hiking and camping (trail recipes, hiking and safety tips, howtos, etc.) If you submit a story, please make sure to include photos that you would like to go with it. Word count can be anywhere from 200 to 900 words, depending on photos and page length. Please do not embed photos within a documentthe resolution will be too low for inclusion. Instead send all photos in as separate files. Please send all submissions to communications@floridatrail.org

FLORIDA TRAIL ASSOCIATION FLORIDA TRAIL ASSOCIATION 5415 SW 13th St Gainesville, FL 32608 352-378-8823 877-HIKE-FLA fta@floridatrail.org BOARD OF DIRECTORS Carlos Schomaker, President Tom Daniel, VP Trails Holly Parker, VP Outreach/Development Eve Barbour , VP Membership Leslie Wheeler, Secretary Pam Hale, Treasurer Chuck Barrowclough David Denham Fred Goldstein James Powell Meredith Rust Jan Wells FLORIDA TRAIL STAFF GAINESVILLE HEADQUARTERS 877-HIKE-FLA or 352-378-8823 Janet Akerson, Administrative Director Diane Strong, Administrative Asst TALLAHASSEE FNST OFFICE

Eric Mason, Trail Program Director 906-360-3153 Megan Donoghue, Volunteer Program Coordinator 941-408-3098 Jeff Glenn, North Regional Representative 352-514-1455 FLORIDA TRAIL Footprint Deb Blick, Editor Rob Smith, Jr, Cartoonist Contributors retain copyright to their work but give the Florida Trail Association premission to use to promote FTA and the Florida Trail. Articles are subject to editing for clarity and space. Materials will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Opinions, observations, and endorsements made within the Florida Trail Footprint do not necessarily reflect those of the board or staff of the Florida Trail Association.

Spring 2014 Volume 31, Issue 2

The Footprint (ISSN 1064-0681) is published quarterly (December, March, July, September) by the Florida Trail Association, 5415 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608, 352-3788823. Bulk rate postage paid at Gainesville, FL. Postmaster: Send change-of-address form 3597 to Footprint, 5415 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608. © 2014, Florida Trail Association All rights reserved. The Footprint is printed with soy-based inks on paper with post-consumer content

ADVERTISING Reach a highly targeted demographic of Florida outdoor enthusiasts by advertising with us or becoming a regular sponsor. Your advertising dollars directly support production and publication of this magazine and assist the Florida Trail Association in fulfilling its mission. Call 877-HIKE-FLA or email fta@floridatrail. org for more details. Deadline for the spring issue of The Footprint is May 1, 2014. Deadline for chapter activities covering July - September to appear in the electronic version of the spring issue of The Footprint is May 15, 2014.

OUR MAGAZINE The Footprint is published by the Florida Trail Association, a volunteer-based nonprofit organization focused on Florida hiking and trail building. Since 1966, the primary mission of our organization has been the care and protection of the Florida Trail, a 1,400-mile footpath across the Sunshine State - Florida’s own National Scenic Trail. The Florida Trail Association also publishes maps and guidebooks to assist hikers in enjoying this public recreational resource. OUR GOAL To provide outreach to our readers through informative articles that express appreciation for and conservation of the natural beauty of Florida; to inform our readers of Florida Trail Association business; and to provide information on Florida hiking and outdoor recreation opportunities. CONTRIBUTORS Contributors are welcome to submit items for our various departments as well as trail and association-related news. Please contact the editor at communications@floridatrail.org to discuss ideas for feature stories prior to submission. MEMBERSHIP If you’re not already a member, join now. As a Florida Trail member, you receive a subscription to The Footprint magazine, membership in a local chapter, a local newsletter with local activities, opportunities for outdoor skills training, participation in regional and annual conferences and more. Commercial and Alliance memberships and event sponsorship opportunities are also available. Call toll-free 877-HIKE-FLA for more information.


Welcome New Members November 2013 tHRU January 2014

Kim Ackerman & Rick Zelznak David & Jennifer Adair Mike Aitken Cheryl Aldridge David Aleksy Michelle Allen William Ambrose & Joanne Muratori Jim Apthorp Terrie Arnett Robert Ash Pauline Ashton Midge & Thomas Bagby Shelley Baker & Glenn Carroll Linda & Prentis Ball Allana Barfield Beti Barisic Brittnee Barris & Cameron Baxley William Baumgardner Tiffany Baylor & Caitlin Wilson Mark Beard Lary Beaulieu Jason Bebber Ruth Becerra & Family Jann Bellamy Stephen Bennett D Bently Bretta Berger Steven Berman Suzanne Bess-Wollborg James Bierce Jose & Ann Boix Indie Bollman Lia Bostick Deborah Britt Gerald Brown Jimmy Byrd, Sr. Kevin Cannon Michael John Carnevale Veronica Ciambra Angela Clary Ray Coles Emy Collins Sharon Collins Bill Cumming Samuel & Edelyn Cyril Jackie Dale & Mary Nanny Carl Daniels Mary Davis Chloe Delhomme Bryan Desloge Marcia DiMambro Judy Dominek John Dougherty Charles & Carol Dujsik Michael DuPre Ronnie Ead Sue Easton Ira & Janice Eick


Ray Engel Selena Evans Joseph Fadel & Di Wang Laura Fagley Rodney Farrier Timmy Fearn & Molly Shubert Shelby Fillingim Bob Finley Mark & Mary Finnila Dana First Bill Foote Evelyn Fore Derek Fowler Phyllis Franklin Mario & Alexis Galvez Alex Garcia Christina & Ken Gast Robert & Grisel Gehrig Elisa Germain Paul Geyer Lori Gilbertson Carol Gilliland Eric Gjonnes E. Chris Godreau Brian Goodlander Anthony Grajirena Geri Green Sandra Groff & Michael Roux Michael Grzenda Karen Guin Dee Gulbranson Charles Hamlin John Harper John Harris Joe and Nga Hatt Elizabeth Hawkins Wendy & Ronald Hartman Katharine Hendrickson & David Skoog Brett & Pattie Hessenius Christopher & Debbie Hicks Chris Hind Jacqueline Hinoa Jacob & Helen Hoffman Carol Hoffman-Guzman Brandon Horsley Steve Howard Kenneth Hunter Jim Hussak Sherry Ingram Timothy & Gloria Jenney Lisa Jennings Dallas & Rita Johnson Ken & Margaret Johnson Pat Kilby Ethan Kilpatrick Bill & Janie Knight Natalie Kochubey Robert Koehnemann Allen Krabill


Ross Kudirka Jackie Kuhn Kyle Kuschel Arlette Laan & Rich Gambale Keith LaBrunda Kris LaBrunda Kathy Lamb Joyce Lampert Chris & Donna Landsea George Lang Ellen Lauricella Murray Laurie Cathy Leavers Jon and Judy Leavers Alice Lehmann Roger Leland Gary LeMoine & Family Wes Leon Mark & Christina Levine Brian Lewis Jim Linebaugh Jill Long Lew Lowery Anthony Maggs Elizabeth Malyszek Edwin & Kimberly Marquette Frazier Martin Oleg Maslan Rich Mattheisz Joseph McAllister Mary McAuliffe Molli & Mike McCarthy Bob McElroy Caryl McKellar Paul McNeil S. Camilla Mcnelis Mary Meade Douglas Meekins Lynn Meier Homer & Donna Melgaard Kenneth Merz Karen Miller Stephen Miller Ann Millet Carol-Anne Mitchell-James Don Mock & Family Cassandra Morecroft King Rhoda & Paul Morrisroe George Mudge Stan Mulder & Jill Thomas Tim Murr Anton Nassif & Alicia Frew Noreen Nelson Keith Neumann Jacob Nixon Marie Odom Robert & Melissa Oliver David O’Neill Dave Osborn Jerry Osteryoung John Paradiz Isabella Parker Mary Ann & Bobby Peel Taylor Penrose

Marcia Philbin Marjorie Phipps Ed & Audry Puletz Kirk & Aylenne Ragoonath Enrique & Marlene Rogers Robert Romanoff Lynn Ross Adrienne Ruhl Michael Ruso & Teresa Ippolito Lise Ryder Mehrdad Salem Carlos Sarabia John Savaria Wesley Schmidt Geoffrey & Janice Schrock Larence & Barbara Seidel Scott Senger Melissa Shakman Dean Shaw Robert Sherman Francine Silberman Jon & Sarah Slay Patrick Snyder Robert Solomon Emilia Sopranzi Kenneth & Dominique Spear Susan & Michael Stallings Marjory Stanek Billy Stephens Joy Stewart Margaret & Carl Stewart Aja Stoppe Jeff Swallows & Jane Koechlin Manny Tejeda & Stefano Ciotti Terry Tesdall Jenny Thomas Kelsey Thomas Linda Thompson Richard Tonkin Scott Topole Carlos Toro Rosa Torres-Tumazos Jeff Tupper Kitty Tyler Bob & Karole Vann Craig Vosburgh Robert Ward Robert Ward D. Watson Dave Watson & Linda Cisne Joyce Weber Lynne Webster Peter White Phil White Kent & Nancy Wilson James Winkeljohn Troy Wong Casey Woo Howard Wright Nicole Wright & Jim Feudner Debbie & Al Wroten Thelma Wutzer Gary Young Robert & Margaret Zaleski

a special thanks to our generous donors NOVEMBER 2013 tHru JANUARY 2014 Donations of $1000 & Above Anonymous (2) The Jelks Family Foundation, Inc. Carlos Schomaker

Ernest and Jean Baldini

Grainger Corp.

Dennis and Kathleen Newton

Edward and Elizabeth Selby

Pamphalon Foundation

Tropical Trekkers Chapter

Donations of $100 to $999 Anonymous (1) Apalachee Chapter - FTA Walker Banning Karen Berkley Douglas Bisset Brevard Nature Alliance Choctawhatchee Chapter James R Couillard Peter Craumer Beth Lea Cumberland Fred Davis Jacqueline Dupont EarthShare Bill Griffin, Jr Mary Ellen Flowers and Tedd Greenwald Joseph and Pamela Hale Heartland Chapter - FTA Joel and Kathy Hickox

Paul King Patricia Landis and Cornelius Du Plessis Arthur Lirot Loxahatchee Chapter Andrew McMahon John McPherson Rik Edmonds and Junia Mason W A “Bill” and Mary Ellen Milton Don Mitchell Ginger and Edward Moore Rhoda and Paul Morrisroe North Florida Trail Blazers Chapter Frank Orser Paul and Mollie Palmer Panhandle Chapter Howard and Carolyn Pardue George Perkinson Ronald and Darcel Peterson

Linda Patton Eddie and Melanie Pipkin Anthony Rawson Ann Roberts Diane Roesch Sally Ryden Ingrid Schultz Tom Tate John Verner Dennis Walker Gary Werner Mary Alice Westrick Jan Wells Leslie Wheeler Helen Wigersma Jean & Camille Williamson and John Koval Walter Williamson

Donations of $25 to $99 Byron Almquist Georgia Ackerman Randall and Janet Akerson Stuart Baker Gail Baldwin Walker Banning and Kathy Criscola Ray Bellamy Samuel and Barbara Bigbie Donna Blanton Karen Bledsoe Aaron and Vanesa Bowden Janet Bowman Ken and Leslie Castner Harry and Mary Chiles Mac Clark Patricia Cook Scott Copeland James E and Jeanne Couillard Ann DeBaldo Chris D’Aiuto Wendy Dial Gayle Dietz and James Monroe Michael DiZazzo Dan Duerr Carl and Sylvia Dunnam Marc Engel Dale and William Fairbanks Carlos Fernandez Michael and Lucy Fribourg Paula Fries

A C Frizzell Leah Gentry Ty Giesmann June Golder Fred Goldstein Dawn and John Griffin Bob Herring and Gaye Ciesinski Jerry and Ann Herting Thomas Herzog Ken Horne and Natasha Hartsfield Laurie Hueckstaedt Jim and Mary Huggins Ed and Carole Johnson Christie Jones Paul and Kathy Kellum Greg and Angela Knecht Edwin Lott Katie McCormick Anthony and Frances McMichael Patricia McPoland James and Denise Matheny John Moore III Patty Muller Hazel and Gene Molnar Margaret Mooney Ann Opgenorth Holly Parker James and Linda Parker F Dickson Prew Claude and Lorraine Richards

Bruce Ritchie and Sue Ellen Smith William Rothman Bonnie Rubel Dianne and Mik Saunders Johnston and Connie Scott Christopher Seelig Gwen Spivey Carol and Harry Spring Mary Starzinski and Kathy Petteruti Carol Stielper Elizabeth Swiman James Sykes Ann Symonds Tom and Grace Tate Deborah Taylor Ruby Tebo Arthur Tedford Charissa Thacker Shelly and Dale Thompson Peter Tome Steven Tuten Steve Urse Steve Van Sciver Richard Vickers Jennifer and Pete Vrynios Barbara and John Waldrop Trudy Walden Daryl Wells


upcoming chapter Activities The Florida Trail Association offers activities throughout Florida. These activities, led by authorized Activity Leaders, Section Leaders, or staff members, are organized by our local chapters. Unless otherwise noted, all activities are open to the general public. People interested in attending any activity should contact the Activity Leader for more information and for last minute changes. ALLIGATOR AMBLERS CHAPTER http://amblers.floridatrail.org/ Monday, March 10 - – Maintenance at Prairie Pines Preserve, No. Ft Myers, Fl. General maintenance and trail blazing. FTA Members only – Limit 10 people- moderate. RSVP Mickey Miller 239-229-0522 hike1962@yahoo.com Friday, March 14 – 16 – Backpack, Camp and Trail Maintenance on the “Florida National Scenic Trail” in Big Cypress National Preserve. Meet at Publix Parking Lot at 8 am, 5624 Stand Blvd, Naples, Fl. We will carpool or caravan to the work area and backpack south about 4 miles on the FNST to Ivy Camp. This will be our basecamp while working south to Oak Hill Camp. The work will be light trimming and repainting blazes. Wear boots or old shoes, no sandals or crocs, the trail may be wet or muddy in some places. Bring hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, sunglasses, minimum 2 quarts of water, food and snacks for 3 days (2breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners) and all camping equipment. Must have backpacking and camping experience, be able to backpack 4-8 miles per day on primitive trail in wet areas. Public invited – limit 6 people- all participants must contact leader for prior approval – strenuous. RSVP www.meetup.com/alligator -amblers or leader Mickey Miller 239-229-0522 hike1962@yahoo.com or Chuck Wilson 239-398-3820 flswampeagle@aol.com Thursday, March 20 – Alligator Amblers Monthly Meeting – program TBA. 6:30 pm social, 7:00 pm meeting at Bass Pro Shops, Gulf Coast Town Center. For information call Joann Luce 239-495-7644 Sunday, March 23- History and Botanical tour, at Koreshan State Historical Site, 3800 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, Fl. Guided ½ hour botanical/historic tour of early 1900’s pioneer community along the Estero River. Meet at 10am - Optional - Bring kayak/canoe for a river paddle after the tour – canoe rentals available $5.30/hr. Entrance to park $4.00 per car. Meet at 10 am - Public invited- Limit 14 people- Leisure RSVP Joann Luce 239-495-7644 joannl1960@yahoo.com Friday, March 28-30 – Camping at Cayo Costa State Park –Enjoy swimming, hiking and snorkeling on this barrier island. Ferry is $35 per person. Cabins available $36/ night each sleeps 6 people FTA members only – Limit of 10 people - RSVP Bonnie McLaughlin 239-765-5450 or call Bonalyn Plante bplantefl@gmail.com 239 450 8310 Sunday, April 6 – Kayak trip- John Pennekemp State Park, 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, Fl Mile Marker 102.5 Enjoy a day of kayaking through beautiful mangrovc trails within the park, clear water you can see the bottom and fish swimming by, wading birds and the occasional porpoise. Camping is available on site or hotels are nearby if you prefer to spend the night. Limit of 20 people- moderate RSVP Brenda Carneri 239-594-0401 bkcscuba@aol.com Monday, April 14 – Maintenance Hike at Prairie Pines Preserve, North Ft. Myers, Fl. General trail maintenance and trail blazing. FTA members only. Limit of 10 people – moderate RSVP Mickey Miller 239-229-0522 hike1962@yahoo.com Thursday, April 17 – Alligator Ambler Monthly Meeting – Program-“Pythons in our swamps” by Ian Bartoszek, biologist at the Conservancy of SW Florida. 6:30 pm social; 7:00 pm meeting at Bass Pro Shops, Gulf Coast Town Center. For information call: Joann Luce 239-495-7644



Saturday, April 26 – 27 Camping and hiking-Sebastian Inlet State Park, 9700 S. Hwy A1A, Melbourne, Fl. Two museums provide a history of the area. The McLarty Treasure Museum features the history of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet; the Sebastian Fishing Museum tells the history of the area’s fishing industry. Lots of swimming, a hiking trail and kayaking are available. RSVP Bonnie McLaughlin 239-765-5450 Saturday, June 7 - Estero River Scrub Preserve Hike. 4940 W. Broadway, drive west on Broadway 1 ¼ miles to trailhead parking at the FP&L substation. Hike through pine flatwoods, oakscrub and mangrove swamp. Possible wet, muddy conditions wear old shoes and bring 2nd pair to drive home. Bring plenty of water, snack, lunch, bug spray and sunblock.. Public invited – Limit 12 people – moderate RSVP Joann Luce – 239-4957644 joannl1960@yahoo.com APALACHEE CHAPTER http://apalachee.floridatrail.org/ March 11 - Chapter Meeting - Liz Sparks 850-570-5950 or liz.aparks57@gmail.com Program: “Holly Parker and Kevin Curry, Backpacking in the Grand Canyon.” Join Kevin Curry and Holly Parker as they share their great adventures in the Grand Canyon! Find out everything you need to know about hiking in the Grand Canyon, and enjoy breathtaking photographs from their three-day hike from the South Rim to the North Rim. Meeting held at the Early Learning Coalition, Suite 70, Northwood Centre, 1852 North Martin Luther King Blvd., Tallahassee. No limit, Public, Leisure. March 15 - W.D.Lines Tract Day Hike -Barry Haber 850-284-5615 or BarryJHaber@hotmail.com The Lines Tract is on the west side of Lake Talquin and is better known as an off-road bike trail although bikes are seldom encountered. Enjoy hiking the Long Leaf and parts of the Talquin Loop trails. About 6 miles with great views of Lake Talquin. No limit, Public, Moderate. March 15 - Seek and Destroy! Phipps Park Invasive Plant Education and Volunteer Program. See February 15 for details. No limit, Public, Moderate. March 21 –23, - Day Hikes Celebrating Spring in Pine Mountain Ga - John Laney 850-879-0168 john@johnlaney.com and Dawn Griffin 850-509-6103 Griffindd@aol.com and Dawn Brown 850-668-0091 dbrown1948@ embarqmail.com. Leave Tallahassee Friday a.m. for a short 3.5-hour drive to Pine Mountain (outside Columbus, Georgia). On the way we can stretch our legs with a short hike in Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” at Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area (7 miles west of Lumpkin), then continue our journey north to Pine Mountain and check into our accommodations. Enjoy a longer hike on Saturday on the Pine Mountain Trail. Non-hikers can enjoy Callaway Gardens and Warm Springs (FDR’s Little White House) in the area. You can choose to enjoy the comforts of a hotel at night or, if you prefer, camp or stay in a cabin. On the way back to Tallahassee on Sunday plan to stop at the Andersonville National Historic Site (outside Andersonville). Make your own reservations early either at a hotel in Pine Mountain or at F.D.R. State Park Cabins/Campground (http://www. gastateparks.org/FDRoosevelt). Sign up early as space is limited. Limit 30 people, FTA Members Only, Moderate. March 29 - Chipola River Canoe and Hinson Conservation Area Hike - Mike Tucker 850-545-3489 or tuckems@ hotmail.com. Repeat of October trip to canoe the Chipola River from Yancy Bridge to Magnolia Bridge, stopping half way down for a hike with Leigh Brooks showcasing the unique spring wildflowers of the Hinson Conservation Area. Bring shoes, water and bug spray for the hike. Mike Tucker (850) 545-3489 or tuckems@hotmail.com. Limit 12 canoes/kayaks, Public, Moderate.


APALACHEE CHAPTER (continued) March 30 - Sopchoppy River Azalea Hike - George Weaver (850) 510-3288 weaver@psy.fsu.edu. Sopchoppy River section of the FNST in the Apalachicola National Forest. A 5-mile (easy to moderate) hike on a section of the FNST that follows the Sopchoppy River. This section of the trail has abundant stands of wild azaleas that bloom in mid to late March. The hike leader will provide hikers with a list of plant species likely to be observed along the trail. Limit 25 people, Public, Moderate. CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER https://sites.google.com/site/ftacentralflorida/ Joshua Creek Trailhead. All the maintenance activities will start at 9:00 AM his schedule may change due to trail conditions, problems with access, prescribed burns etc. Also, in case of heavy rainfall and standing water on the trail the work may be canceled. The leader will send out an email announcing changes, Check your email or Meetup before leaving home. Jan 22 - Wednesday Winter Day Hike Series - Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898, cell: 352-552-0626 lourayfl@mac.com 7-9 mile day hike in the Ocala National Forest. No limit, Public, Moderate. March 12 - Wednesday Winter Day Hike Series - Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898, cell: 352-552-0626 lourayfl@mac.com 7-9 mile day hike in the Ocala National Forest. No limit, Public, Moderate. March 19 - Wednesday Winter Day Hike Series - Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898, cell: 352-552-0626 lourayfl@mac.com 7-9 mile day hike in the Ocala National Forest. No limit, Public, Moderate. March 22 - Wednesday Winter Day Hike Series - Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898, cell: 352-552-0626 lourayfl@mac.com 7-9 mile day hike in the Ocala National Forest. No limit, Public, Moderate. FLORIDA CRACKERS CHAPTER http://floridacrackers.floridatrail.org/ March 13 - Day hike at Gilchrist County Santa Fe Park. It is that time of year. Last year we hiked here and saw many new and beautiful flowers. Join us for the spring burst of colors. We should see many of the fresh “Swamp Lillies” in bloom. This is a high water flood plain of the Santa Fe river and may be wet in areas. The hike will be along the river and then out into theg the bordering sandhills. Bring bug spray, water, snacks, hats and lightweight long sleeve shirts, It may be cool so dress in layers. Meet at the Park at 8:45am. The hike will start at 9:00am. Contact: Mitch 352-332-2065 or mesapp1941@gmail.com March 20 - Chapter Meeting at Brasingtons Adventure Outfitters. 6:30 pm March 22 - Kayaking 101 Tryout - Deb Blick 352-475-5644 ftcricket@windstream.net Earl P. Powers Park 5910 SE Hawthorne Rd (State Rd 20) Gainesville, FL 32641 9 am - 3 pm Thinking about giving kayaking a try but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are interested in getting a kayak but can’t decide between a sit-on-top and a sit-inside, a rec boat and a sea kayak? This is the “class” for



you. We’ll cover topics such as the different styles of kayaks, different types of paddles, required safety gear, and other tips and tricks for paddling fun and comfort in the monring. Following a picnic lunch (bring your own) we’ll have some boats available for you to try out. No limit, Public welcome, Leisure. March 22 - Walk Across Marion County: Day hike from Ross Prairie to Pruitt Trailhead. Join Bob Jones and the Florida Trail Association for our 9th Annual Walk Across Marion County. Each week we will walk a different section of the Florida Trail until we have walked across the county. This is an excellent opportunity to learn where the various trailheads are located in our area. There will be guest hikers along the way who will share their vast knowledge of the history, flora and fauna along our hiking trails. This popular winter hiking series has introduced many people to the natural wonders to be found around Ocala, Belleview, and Silver Springs. Each day hike provides an easy ramble along the Florida Trail and lets you complete sections of the trail that you may not have explored before. Each is guided by a knowledgeable trail guide. There is No Fee to enjoy this hiking series. Simply get out there and have a good time. Meet at Santos Trailhead campground area at 8:30 and carpool to the start of the hike or meet at the trailhead by Ross Prairie Trailhead at 9:00. For more information contact Bob Jones at 352-454-9533 March 31 to April 5 - The Imperfect Backpacking Series - Robin Luger 352-284-3319 robinannie.luger@gmail. com and Irvin Chance 386-330-2424 andachance@msn.com Suwannee River from Bell Springs to U.S.129 No limit, Public welcome, Moderate. HAPPY HOOFERS CHAPTER http://hoofers.floridatrail.org/ March 13 - Chapter Meeting 7:30 pm. - Kay Ferrara 954-609-4727 kayferrara@bellsouth.net Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek, FL 33063 March 15 - Day hike to Gator Hook - Esther Muram 954-658-8386 Itailusa@gmail.com and Robert Rockwell 954-242-6786 rockyhic@hotmail.com hike trough lime stone trail and old logging tram road ~ 4 miles round trip Limit 15 people, Members first, Public after, Moderate. March 22-23 - Overnight backpacking trip to Fisheating Creek - David Denham 305-667-8643 ddenham@consultant.com and Robert Rockwell 954-242-6786 rockyhic@hotmail.com Limit 10, Members Only, Moderate. March 29-30 - Day hike and or backpack Lake Arbuckle at Lake Wales Wildlife Management Area - Kay Ferrara 954-609-4727 kayferrara@bellsouth.net and Esther Muram 954-658-8386 itailusa@gmail.com Limit 15 people, Members first, Public after, Moderate. April 5 - Walk and bird watch at Green Cay - Lynn Thompson 954-850-3668 ma12thom@bellsouth.net No limit, Public welcome, Leisure. April 10 - Chapter Meeting 7:30 pm. - Kay Ferrara 954-609-4727 kayferrara@bellsouth.net Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek, FL 33063 April 18-20 - Camp and day hike at Cumberland Island National Seashore - Mike and Lynn Thompson (954)850-3668 ma12thom@bellsouth.net Limit 12, Members first, Public after, Moderate April 26 - Day paddle at Isle of Capri - Kay Ferrara 954-609-4727 kayferrara@bellsouth.net and Vivian Oliva 305-595-1395 snook33172@yahoo.com Limit 12, Member first, Public after, Moderate.


HAPPY HOOFERS CHAPTER (Continued) May 8 - Chapter Meeting 7:30 pm. - Kay Ferrara 954-609-4727 kayferrara@bellsouth.net Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek, FL 33063 June 7 - Day hike to Tarpon Lake - David Denham 305-667-8643 ddenham@consultant.com Limit 15 people, Member first, Public after, Moderate. HIGHLANDERS CHAPTER http://highlanders.floridatrail.org/ March 12, 2014, OCALA NATIONAL FOREST EASTERN CORRIDOR- HIKE 10- Shuttle required Hike from the FR 22-Farles Prairie Day Use area to the FR 69-FNST crossing - 8.2 miles Meet at the junction of CR 445 & FR 69 near Alexander Springs (N29º 04.479’ W081º 35,193’) Contact leaders for more information. Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898 - cell 352-552-0626 - lourayfl@mac.com March 19, 2014, OCALA NATIONAL FOREST EASTERN CORRIDOR - HIKE 11- Out & Back Hike from the FR 69-FNST crossing to FR 06 & back /w side trip to Alexander Creek - 8.5 miles Meet at the junction of CR 445 & FR 69 near Alexander Springs (N29º 04.479’ W081º 35.193’) Contact leaders for more information. Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898 - cell 352-552-0626 - lourayfl@mac.com March 26, 2014, OCALA NATIONAL FOREST EASTERN CORRIDOR- HIKE 12 - Shuttle required Hike from the FR 06-FNST crossing to the SR 42-Clearwater Lake Trailhead parking - 7 miles “End of Series” Pot Luck Picnic following the hike. Meet at the SR 42-Clearwater Lake Trailhead parking (N28º 58.595’ W081º 33.024’) Contact leaders for more information. Rachael & Lou Augspurg 352-669-2898 - cell 352-552-0626 - lourayfl@mac. com March 27, 2014, Highlanders Chapter Monthly Meeting: Leesburg Public Library, 100 E Main Street. Use the entrance on Main Street. 6:00 PM. Meeting room just inside the entrance to the library. Doug Watson, Lake Griffin State Park will present the program: HISTORY AND INTERESTING POINTS OF THE PARK. Bring a snack to share and your aluminum cans to recycle. Questions? 352-787-8654 or email bobbiszoo@yahoo.com April 5, 2014, Work Hike, 9 AM, Seminole State Forest. Details later. Please bring water, insect spray, hats, lunch, etc. If you have further questions call Francis Keenan, 352-787-8654 or email bobbiszoo@yahool.com April 9, 2014, Kayak/Canoe: We will meet at Silver Lake State Park on the Withlacoochee River in Ridge Manor at 8:45 am. We will paddle from Silver Lake to Nobleton about 9 miles. We will need to shuttle cars to the takeout in Nobleton before we start. Bring lunch and water. Silver lake is off of RT 50 just east of I75. Turn onto Croom Rital Road at the light toward Withlacoochee State Trail (Bike), follow Croom Rital Road 3miles to entrance to Silver Lake State Park. Go to day use area straight ahead. questions call Gene Bouley 352-3149335 April 17, 2014, Highlanders Chapter Monthly Meeting: Note third Thursday due to Leesburg Bikefest. Leesburg Public Library, 100 E Main Street. Use the entrance on Main Street. 6:00 PM. Meeting room just inside the entrance to the library Howard Pospesel will present the program; HIGHLANDERS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. Bring a snack to share and your aluminum cans to recycle. Questions? 352-787-8654 or email bobbiszoo@yahoo.com April 21 to April 28, 2014, Camping Trip: GA Veterans SP two nights, Cloudland Canyon SP five nights. Contact Bobbi Keenan for more information, 352-787-8654 or email bobbiszoo@yahoo.com SUWANNEE CHAPTER http://suwannee.floridatrail.org/ March 10-14 - The Imperfect Backpacking Series - Irvin Chance 386-330-2424 andachance@msn.com and



Robin Luger 352-284-3319 robinannie.luger@gmail.com Osceola National Forest from Olustee Battleground to U.S. 441 No limit, Public welcome, Moderate. March 31 to April 5 - The Imperfect Backpacking Series - Irvin Chance 386-330-2424 andachance@msn.com and Robin Luger 352-284-3319 robinannie.luger@gmail.com Suwannee River from Bell Springs to U.S.129 No limit, Public welcome, Moderate. The weekend of March 15-16 Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama. We will hike Saturday afternoon at 1 PM on the Peavine Falls Trail. One way it is 2.5 miles, I will shuttle hikers back if they want to only do that half. Supper that night at my cabin. Hike Sunday morning at 8:30 AM on the White Trail (Shackleford Point Trail) about 6.5 miles one way. I will be the shuttle again. Call me for more information. Peggy Grantham 850982-9490 WESTERN GATE CHAPTER http://www.westerngate-fta.org/

March 30 Sunday Hike the Dunes Trail on Pensacola Beach 9 AM with Patty Brown 850-417-7747 April 12 Saturday Kid’s Hike on the Juniper Creek, just to the lean-to and back, about 2 miles with stops along the creek to explore and get our feet wet. 10 AM Led by Peggy Grantham 850-9829490 The weekend of April 18 - 20 Easter Weekend I will be camping at Greyton Beach State Park and hiking the beach and nature trails in the park. On Easter Sunday we will be at Eden Gardens State Park to walk and tour the house and gardens there. April 27 Sunday Patty Brown will lead a hike on the Jackson Trail from County Line Road to Red Rock Road trailhead about 9 miles. 9 AM Patty 850 417-7747


Local Chapters For chapter websites/Meetups, go to http://www.floridatrail.org/about-us/chapters/ then select the chapter ALLIGATOR AMBLERS CHAPTER CHARLOTTE, COLLIER, AND LEE Bonalyn Plante 239-227-0937



Howard Pardue 850-386-1494 BIG CYPRESS CHAPTER MIAMI-DADE AND MONROE Nina Dupuy 305-608-6866


When you join the state-wide Florida Trail Association you automatically become a member of your local chapter based upon your zip code. However, members may attend the activities of any chapter and may transfer to any chapter they wish simply by informing the FTA Office. Florida Trail activities are organized by our local chapters and led by authorized volunteer activity leaders. Many of our activities are open to the general public so you can get to know us before you join. Activities can be found online at www.floridatrail.org Click on “About Us” then click on the “Upcoming Events” button on the left. Local activities are usually also listed on the chapter websites, Facebook pages amd Meetups. Click on “About Us” then “Our Chapters” for links to local chapter sites. 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 the activity leader in advance for more information, to let them know you are attending, to find out any special requirements or equipment for the activity, and to check for any last minute changes.











Florida Trail Association 5415 SW 13th St, Gainesville FL 32608

Nonprofit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 702 Gainesville, FL

Dates to Remember! Board of Directors Meeting May 17, 2014 Footprint Article Deadline May 1, 2014 Footprint Activities Deadline May 15, 2014

Profile for Florida Trail

2014 Spring FTA Footprint  

The Footprint - the state-wide magazine of the Florida Trail Association. Spring 2014 Issue.

2014 Spring FTA Footprint  

The Footprint - the state-wide magazine of the Florida Trail Association. Spring 2014 Issue.

Profile for flatrail