99.3 miles. Working its way to a sweep of public lands making up the Northwest Florida Greenway, considered one of America’s top biodiversity hot spots, the Florida Trail heads west from the Apalachicola River into the Central Time Zone. West of the paved Blountstown Greenway, it uses connecting roadwalks to tack together sections of footpath in the Chipola River Greenway, Econfina Creek Water Management Area, Pine Log State Forest, and the privately owned Nokuse Plantation. En route, you’ll marvel at the “Look and Tremble” rapids of the Chipola River and the waterfalls that pour into Econfina Creek, and explore steephead ravines and rolling sandhills whenever the trail makes its way onto public lands.
- General gun (deer hunting) season runs Nov 24-27, Dec 3-5, and Jan 21-29 on most public lands in this region. See HUNTING sidebar for specifics. Hikers must wear an orange shirt or vest during hunting seasons.
- Work is presently underway to shift the Florida Trail off the roadwalk between Cowford Landing and Seven Runs into a new segment of Nokuse Plantation. Watch for signage or blazes after you cross the Choctawhatchee River bridge on SR 20.
FT symbols indicate trailheads and access points. Click on symbols for details and directions.
1.8 miles. After a 2.5 mile roadwalk into town along SR 20 from the bridge across the Apalachicola River, the trail joins this deeply shaded segment of the Blountstown Greenway through town, right past the railroad museum and steam train exhibit.
Florida Trail, Blountstown to Altha
8 miles. Following SR 71 north from the Blountstown Greenway, this is a roadwalk connector to the Chipola River, with no services along the route. Follow SR 71 N to CR 275 S to NW Black Bottom Rd to where the trail enters the woods.
Florida Trail, Altha Trail
1.7 miles. Meandering along the eastern shore of the Chipola River, this footpath provides a well-needed respite for long distance hikers, with two campsites near the river. It’s a fabulous day hike destination as well, as it spotlights the Look & Tremble rapids.
Florida Trail, Chipola West
16.9 miles. Heading west as a roadwalk from Willis Bridge Park through Sheltons Corners on CR 274, the trail continues along this rural highway until it reaches Betts Rd and crosses busy US 231. Just 2.5 miles later, it reaches the Scott Rd Trailhead of Econfina Creek WMA.
17.5 miles. A spectacular section of trail for backpacking, the Florida Trail shows off the beauty of this winding, tannic creek and its springs and waterfalls along the route. There are many places to camp along the route, which, when it leaves the creek, heads into a longleaf pine restoration area with gently rolling hills.
Florida Trail, Econfina to Pine Log
14.3 miles. Another roadwalk connector between public lands, this segment along SR 20 has only one break in it – a stop at the SR 77 crossroads in Oak Park to duck into the BP for a cold drink and some fried chicken.
5.7 miles. Florida’s oldest state forest offers an immersion in pine flatwoods and rolling sandhills, as well as some pine planation, as the Florida Trail winds its way across SR 79 and past Sand Pond, a picturesque cypress-lined lake. A connecting roadwalk of 1.9 miles between the back gate of Pine Log to leave Ebro west on SR 20 to cross the Choctawhatchee River leads to the next segment.
Florida Trail, Nokuse East
8.8 miles. Newly opened in November 2016 (and not yet on the above map), the Nokuse East section replaces the 11-mile roadwalk through Bruce by taking a diagonal route northwest through Nokuse Plantation from Cowford Landing. There are two new campsites along this section, which also includes a substantial boardwalk and bridge across Cypress Creek.
Florida Trail, Nokuse
19.3 miles. Deeply shaded steephead ravines with braided streams punctuate sandhill restoration on a private preserve where old sod farms and pine plantation are being restored back to longleaf pine forests. One intermediate trailhead lets you break this hike into two parts.
3.9 miles. A deeply shaded corridor that once defined the rail line for the M&B (Marianna & Blountstown) Railroad, the Blountstown Greenway stretches from Neal Landing on the Apalachicola River to a trailhead along SR 71, with a spur trail to Sam Atkins Park providing access to the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement.
Dutch & Faye Trail
5.5 miles. The Dutch & Faye Trail is a blue-blazed multi-use loop through the pine flatwoods and swamps of Pine Log State Forest. It intersects the Florida Trail just north of the SR 79 crossing and north of Sand Pond.
2 miles. A loop trail at Pine Log State Forest, the Campground Trail intersects the Florida Trail in several places, and traverses a boardwalk through the cypress swamp on the far edge of Sand Pond. It loops around Sand Pond and through the pine forests surrounding the Sand Pond Recreation Area and campground.
- Wear bright orange not just for hunting seasons but also for easy visibility to motorists for the roadwalks in this section. Consider a bright orange pack cover or yellow safety vest as well.
- Take advantage of easy resupply within a short walk of the trail route in Blountstown, at Shelton’s Store (limited supplies), at US 231 (0.3S to Dollar General), and at Ebro.
- In Blountstown, the Airport Motel and the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement are two lodging options that hikers have used with success; the folks at the Settlement sometimes have a cabin available for hiker use.
- If the roadwalk mileage on both sides of Pine Log is longer than you can handle, consider using Sand Pond Campground or the Ebro Motel as a pivot point for day hiking the roadwalks with shuttle assistance. Hikers have been invited in the past to stay in the yard of the Hillcrest Baptist Church on the Chipola roadwalk; ask if you see someone there.