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Florida National Scenic Trail

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Caitlin Murphy

on 4 September 2014

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Transcript of Florida National Scenic Trail

Florida National Scenic Trail
30 Years of Trailblazing in Florida
About the Trail
Florida National Scenic Trail
Management, Planning, and Goals
The Reach of the Trail
Upon completion, the Florida National Scenic Trail will stretch nearly 1,300 miles from South Florida's semi-tropical ecosystems to the Gulf beaches of the panhandle's barrier islands.
Use and Recreation
Recreation is the primary reason that 350,000 visitors use the FNST each year.
The Trail is an ideal day-trip destination as most Floridians live within an hour's drive of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
Nearly 90% of all trail use occurs between October and May when the state experiences cooler, drier days.

Volunteer Efforts
Volunteers are a crucial part of the FNST. They form the backbone of trail construction, maintenance, and advocacy. Each year, members of the Florida Trail Association (FTA) and dedicated volunteers put in thousands of hours to maintain the Trail.
Backpackers in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Source: Florida Trail Association.
F-Troop volunteers putting together the Monkey Creek Bridge, Apalachicola National Forest. Source: Linda Patton, Florida Trail Association
For more information:
Find us at
or visit

for volunteer and hiking resources.
Jim Schmid
FNST Administrator 850-523-8528 jimschmid@fs.fed.us
The Florida National Scenic Trail was first established as the Florida Trail in the 1960s. Work began on the Florida Trail in 1966 in the Ocala National Forest. Jim Kern, the trail's founder, and a team of dedicated volunteers tasked themselves with surveying, building, and maintaining new trail across the state of Florida.
Backpackers on the Florida Trail in the 1970s. Source: The Florida Trail Association
Back to the Beginnings
Background on the Trail
A Trail of National Significance
National Scenic Trail Status
In 1983, the U.S. Congress designated the Florida Trail as the country's 8th National Scenic Trail. The US Forest Service, as the federal administrator for the trail, was tasked with cooperatively managing the Florida National Scenic Trail and ensuring its long term protection.
Jim Kern at the Official Florida National Scenic Trail dedication ceremony in 1983. Source: Florida Trail Association.
Source: Jim Schmid, US Forest Service
Juniper Prairie Wilderness
Source: Jim Schmid, US Forest Service
From remote wilderness to its most popular urban areas, the Florida National Scenic Trail has got it all, offering truly unique recreation experiences. Five distinct classes exist within the Trail:
Variety of Recreation Experiences
Class 1 - natural unmodified; low to no human impact on the environment
Class 2 - natural appearing environment, essentially unmodified setting
Class 3 - semi-natural environment with visible human impacts
Class 4 - semi-natural environment which is culturally modified yet attractive
Class 5 - highly modified, potentially urban environment

Withlacoochee State Forest
Source: Barbara Bowen, Florida Trail Association
Class 1
Class 2
Class 3
Class 4
Class 5
Pensacola Beach
Source: Florida Trail Association
Sunrise at Moore Haven
Source: Sandra Friend, Florida Trail Association
The Florida National Scenic Trail is 1 of only 11 designated National Scenic Trails, and it is 1 of 3 contained entirely within a single state.
Working Together to Accomplish Our Goals
Cooperative Management
The Florida National Scenic Trail is cooperatively managed by agencies, land managers, local governments, and volunteers.
18 %
Public and Private Organizations
The trail traverses land managed or owned by 27 different organizations, covering 37 counties and 76 different land management units.
The USDA Forest Service is the federal administrator and largest land manager for the Florida National Scenic Trail.
The Florida National Scenic Trail Coalition is a gathering of agency, district, nonprofit, and private representatives to help guide the management of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
Trail landowners and managers work cooperatively to ensure a readily accessible, safe, interpretive, and memorable recreational experience.
Florida National Scenic Trail Planning
The Florida National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan (1986) and 5-Year Strategic Plan (2012) serve as the primary planning and management documents for the trail.
There are four management goals detailed in the 5-year Strategic Plan:
Add 100 new scenic and designated miles towards Trail completion.
100% of existing designated Trail meets the recreation, information, and interpretive Trail standards within its trail class.
Each of the Trail land managers proactively contribute to Trail development, maintenance, and promotion of their segment as part of a larger whole.
100% of Trail users know they are on the Florida National Scenic Trail, understand the significance of the Trail, and know how their experience is part of the larger whole.
Work together to leverage resources and opportunities to place new mileage of scenic Trail on the ground.
Share expertise, best land management practices, and resources to improve trail signage and materials.
Enhance a regional network of trails for Florida residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Camping at Walton Pond. Source: Robert Coveney, Florida Trail Association.
Source: Jim Schmid, US Forest Service
Eglin Airforce Base. Source: Steve Duke, Florida Trail Association
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