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Florida National Scenic Trail, FL

Jan 19 - Jan 26, 2020 -- $1250 ★

The 1400 mile long Florida National Scenic Trail runs all the way from the Everglades to Alabama. Largely unknown and infrequently 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 fat (or more accurately, improve body composition).

Our route will take us over 45 primarily flat miles through Western Corridor / Withlachoochee State Forest / Richloam / Green Swamp sections of the Florida Trail. It is a fascinating amalagmation of Cypress Swamps, Live Oak Hammocks, Pine Forests, scenic prairies, and many other interesting ecosystems. Don't be surprised to see an otter or alligator along the way! At the end, we'll get a birds-eye view of the area by ascending the Richloam Fire Tower.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Fortunately, January is a ideal time to hike in West/Central Florida. Days are temperate and nights are cool. Expect a few desultory insects, but nothing compared to swarms during other seasons in Florida. Please come prepared for rain, an occasional cold night and the possibility of blazing heat. Midday temperatures during the January 2007 trip reached the 90s for a few days, but this, like cold weather is atypical.

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Julie Quibodeaux


$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 Orlando, FL (MCO) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides.

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

Important Note

Chances are, we will be walking through water on some parts of the trail, particulary if routed throug a cypress dome. There may be inch deep, ankle deep or even knee deep water, of if dry no water at all. If Florida is experiencing a drought, we actually may see wildfires and drinking water could be scarce or non-existent for many miles, thus obligating us to carry up to 2 gallons of water at times. As the trip approaches, we will have a much better idea of the conditions.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Fly or drive into Orlando (MCO). 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 (407) 240-5000 for a free airport shuttle that will pick you up and take you to La Quinta Inn & Suites, Orlando Airport North, 7160 N Frontage Rd, Orlando, FL, 32812

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 Bass Pro Shop to get last minute equipment if necessary

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go out for welcome dinner. Dinner not included in trip cost.

Monday, January 20, 2020

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

Shuttle to Green Swamp East, Van Fleet Trail off of Poyner Oaks Rd. We may spot a car at Richloam Fire Tower which will take about an hour plus.

Hike 5.2 miles through a cypress swamp at about 3.8 miles to Mott Hammock Camp.

Carry 2 gallons today as Mott Hammock Camp does not have water

Camp at Mott Hammock Camp

Miles today: 5.2. Total Miles to date: 5.2

Possible bailout: Poyner Oaks Rd

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hike 6.5 miles to Trial Ford

Campsite has water

Camp at Trial Ford Campsite

Miles today: 6.5. Total Miles to date: 11.7

Possible bailout: SR 471

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hike 9.4 miles to Concession Stand Camp (there is no concession stand here)

Camp at Concession Stand Camp

No water here. Make sure to get it 6.0 miles back at Gator Hole Pond. Water is also found a mile beyond here on the trail.

Miles today: 9.4. Total Miles to date: 21.1

Bailout: Compressco Grade / Ranch Rd. / River Rd.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hike 8.6 miles to High Bluff

Water available here

Camp at High Bluff Camp

Miles today: 8.6. Total Miles to date: 29.7

Bailout: Ranch Rd. / Main Line Rd.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Fill all water containers. There may be no more water found the rest of the trip.

Hike 1.7 miles to trail Junction with East Loop

Hike 5.3 miles on the East Loop Trail to the Blue Blazed Trail.

Hike 1.5 miles to designated campsite.

Camp at designated campsite

Miles today: 8.5. Total Miles to date: 38.2

Possible bailout: Lacoochee Rd.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Hike 3.2 miles on the East Loop Trail to the Blue Blaze.

Hike 1.9 miles on the Blue Blaze to Richloam Fire Tower.

End of Hike

Miles today: 5.1. Total Miles to date: 43.3

Possible bailout: Richloam Fire Tower

Return to La Quinta Inn & Suites, Orlando Airport North, 7160 N Frontage Rd, Orlando, FL, 32812

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 26, 2020

Free Hotel Breakfast

Take Free Shuttle to Airport

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