Tomorrow begins the NEW YEAR, the 50th year since the founding of the Florida Trail and the Florida Trail Association. A lot of activities are planned throughout the year. Be sure to check the Florida Trail Association website www.floridatrail.org from time-to-time to see what’s cooking. You’ll also find links to the local chapters, so you can stay in touch with hiking at your local level.
On January 9, a group of intrepid hikers will depart the Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve on Hwy 41, the Tamiami Trail, to spend the next three or four months hiking north on the Florida Trail to the northern terminus at Gulf Islands National Seashore. I will be speaking about the early days of the Florida Trail and the challenges ahead at the auditorium at the Visitor Center at 10:30 on Saturday morning, January 9th. I will also be available to sign and/or inscribe Trail Reflections, my coffee table book about 50 years of hiking and backpacking. Sandra Friend and John Keatley have put in a lot of effort to make this send-off a fun event. You can visit their website: www.floridahikes.com to get more information.
On January 21 – 22, I will be attending the Florida National Scenic Trail Coalition meeting at the St. Johns River Water Management District Headquarters in Palatka. All federal, state and county agencies that “own” portions of the Florida Trail are urged to attend these coalition meetings to talk about common issues in extending and maintaining the Florida Trail.