National Scenic Trails - Florida Trail Overview

Travel Tips
Trail at a Glance
Length: 1,300 miles
Route: From the Panhandle and Gulf Islands National Seashore down the length of the peninsula to Big Cypress National Park
Highlights: Wildlife and a succession of lush, subtropical environment
Completion: 85%
Hiker Purity: Good. Strong footpath orientation. Limited sharing with bikes
Partnership Organizations: Florida Trail Association
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  • Wander the length of the Sunshine State on the 1,400-mile Florida National Scenic Trail. While it's not as challenging as the Appalachian or Continental Divide trails, even small changes in elevation can take you from marshy swampland to pine forest. The Florida Trail Association has information on planning, from day hikes to an end-to-end thru-hike. The best times for hiking are late fall through early spring.
  • Set off northward on the Big Cypress National Preserve leg of the trail, a 42-mile section through swampland, dwarf cypress forest, and sawgrass prairie. Big Cypress is one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered Florida panther.
  • Pitch in to help build or maintain sections of the Florida Trail, and enjoy the camaraderie as a volunteer on one of the American Hiking Society's trailbuilding camps.
  • Cool off after a hard day of hiking with a refreshing dip in one of the springs or creeks in central Florida's Ocala National Forest. Alexander Springs is an especially good spot for inland snorkeling and diving, with crystal-clear conditions and wildlife-rich limestone sinkholes.
By Travel Expert: Alistair Wearmouth

Published: 28 Oct 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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