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Florida Trail, FL

Jan 16 - Jan 24, 2016 -- $1250 ★

The 1400 mile long Florida National Scenic Trail runs all the way from the Everglades to Alabama. Largely unknown and rarely hiked, the trail is home to a panoply of wild (and not so wild) animals including deer, wild hogs, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, bald eagles, alligators, great blue herons, turtles, egrets, ubiquitous cows, and even black bears. Follow through on your New Year's resolution, get away from your frigid climate, see a wild and seldom seen section of Florida, and lose weight (or more accurately, improve body composition).

Our route will take us almost 50 primarily flat miles through Apalachicola National Forest, which is one of the wilder and more protected sections of the Florida Trail complete with fine scenery and wild character. It is a fascinating amalagmation of fresh water streams, rivers, lakes, natural springs, and many other interesting eco-systems. Part of the adventure might be hiking Bradwell Bay, a primeval swamp that may involve walking through mud or water that at times may be waist deep. If the water level is high, we will hike a drier alternate route.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Fortunately, January is a great time to hike in Florida. It's a little cooler in the panhandle so expect it to be high 60s during the day, mid-40s at night. Also expect a few desultory insects, but nothing compared to the swarms during other seasons in Florida. Please come prepared for rain and nights that could reach freezing. Here is the Historical weather.

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Dan Shafto


$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Talahasseee, FL (TLH) as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6+ days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.

Important Note

Depending upon weather conditions, the trail may be flooded in places, especially in Bradwell Bay. Because of this, we have two alternate plans. The first is a trip through Bradwell Bay. But because it is often muddy or contains knee or waist-deep water, we will only traverse this route if it's dry (sometimes there are wildfires in the area so it does dry out). Otherwise, we will choose the alternate route (Option B). As the trip approaches, we will have a much better idea of the conditions and will make the final determination then based upon which route will keep us dry. In either case, YOU SHOULD EXPECT AND BE PREPARED FOR MUD ON THE TRAIL.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fly or drive into Tallahassee (TLH). The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving a few hours earlier or later, then do so. If you are driving, please let us know as soon as possible if you'd like us to make arrangements for your car.

Call 850-877-4437 for the free airport shuttle and they will take you to Quality Inn & Suites, 2020 Apalachee Pkwy, Tallahassee, FL, 32301, 850-877-4437

Equipment shakedown. We look through ALL your stuff and try to economize the weight you carry while making sure you're prepared for the elements.

Go to Trail & Ski 2743 Capital Cir NE, Tallahassee, FL 32308 850-531-9001,, to get last minute equipment if necessary

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (TBD). Dinner not included in trip cost.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage

Free breakfast in hotel

Option A

Shuttle to the Apalachicola National Forest, Vilas Trailhead off of SR65

Start hiking Eastbound on the Florida Trail

Hike 7.5 miles to Sapling Head Camp

Camp at Sapling Head Camp

Miles today: 7.5. Total Miles to date: 7.5

Possible bailout: FR 107


Option B

Shuttle to the Apalachicola National Forest, Bradwell Bay West Trailhead on FR315

Start hiking Westbound on the Florida Trail

Hike 4.0 miles to Langston Trailhead

Hike 2.6 road miles to Porter Lake Campground

Camp at Porter Lake Campground, sites TBD

Miles today: 6.6. Total Miles to date: 6.6

Possible bailout: CR 375

Monday, January 18, 2016

Option A

Hike 7.0 miles past an area where Red Cockaded Woodpeckers live to Indian Creek Campsite.

Camp at Indian Creek Campsite

Miles today: 7.0. Total Miles to date: 14.5

Possible bailout: CR 67


Option B

Hike 4.6 miles to Indian Creek Camping Area, an area containg many Red Cockaded Woodpeckers

Camp at Indian Creek Camping Area

Miles today: 4.6. Total Miles to date: 11.2

Possible bailout: CR 67

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Option A

Hike 4.5 miles to , Porter Lake Campground, potable water found here.

Camp at Porter Lake Frontcountry Campground, sites TBD

Miles today: 4.5. Total Miles to date: 19.0

Possible bailout: CR 368 (FH 13)


Option B

Hike 7.0 miles to Sapling Head Camping Area

Camp at Sapling Head Camping Area

Miles today: 7.0. Total Miles to date: 18.2

Possible bailout: CR 67

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Option A

Fill extra water vessels before leaving camp. There may not be any water tonight (in dry years)

Break Camp at first light to get a jump on the day

Road Walk 2.6 miles to Langston Homestead

Hike 7.2 miles to Bradwell Island Campsite.

This can be an extremely difficult section. Please note the special conditions

Camp at Bradewll Island Campsite

Miles today: 9.8. Total Miles to date: 28.8

Bailout: CR 375


Option B

Fill all water vessels before leaving camp. There is no reliable water tonight

Hike 7.4 miles to Vilas Camping Area

Camp at Vilas Camping Area

Miles today: 7.4. Total Miles to date: 25.6

Possible bailout: SR 65

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Option A

No water at camp today, so fill all containers including spare ones at Monkey Creek

Hike 2.2 miles to Monkey Creek. Fill Water

Hike 7.2 miles to Sopchoppy River Trailhead

Hike 0.1 miles to clearing

Wilderness camp in unmarked clearing, practicing Leave No Trace ethic.

Miles today: 9.5. Total Miles to date: 38.3

Possible bailout: FR 348


Option B

Hike 3.5 miles to Hostage Creek. Fill water here.

Hike 3.4 miles to Trail of Lakes Blue Blaze Trail

Hike 0.1 miles on Trail of Lakes Blue Blaze Trail to Bonnet Pond

Camp at Bonnet Pond

Miles today: 7.0. Total Miles to date: 32.6

Possible bailout: FR 108

Friday, January 22, 2016

Option A

Hike 11.1 miles to CS100 Campsite (we may camp earlier if we find a nice spot)

Camp at CS100 Campsite.

Miles today: 11.1. Total Miles to date: 49.4

Possible bailout: SR 44


Option B

Hike 3.8 miles on the Trail of Lakes Blue Blaze Trail

Turn left and hike 2.0 miles to Camel Lake Campground.

Camp at Camel Lake Frontcountry Campground, sites TBD

Miles today: 5.8. Total Miles to date: 38.4

Possible bailout: FR 105

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Option A

Hike 1.8 miles to US 319

End of hike. Miles today: 1.8. Total Miles to date: 51.2


Option B

Hike 2.0 miles to the Trail of Lakes Blue Blaze Trail.

Hike 3.5 miles to the Savannah Trailhead, CR12

Miles today: 5.5. Total Miles to date: 43.9


Return to Quality Inn & Suites, 2020 Apalachee Pkwy, Tallahassee, FL, 32301, 850-877-4437


End measurements taken

Go out to dinner. Awards Ceremony. Dinner not included in trip cost.

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Free Hotel Breakfast

Take Free Shuttle to Airport

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