We’re hikers. We’re Floridians. We know what it’s like to deal with heat, humidity, insects, and weather than can swing from tropical to freezing on a winter’s day. We founded the Florida Trail Hikers Alliance to encourage more people to hike our 1,400 mile National Scenic Trail, the Florida Trail, and to provide you resources to help you accomplish that goal. If you’re planning a day hike, an overnighter, a long section, or a thru-hike, we’re here to help out.
OUR MISSION is to educate the public about the Florida Trail and to promote sustainable recreational use of the Florida Trail. To do so, we share trail details on this website, give presentations about the trail, have casual hiker gatherings, and use social media and other online resources to connect experienced Florida Trail hikers with newcomers to Florida hiking.
The Florida National Scenic Trail is managed by the USDA Forest Service and built and maintained by the volunteers of the Florida Trail Association. Friends of the Florida Trail is working towards closing the gaps in the Florida Trail. We work with all of these organizations as well as others. Our mission is to encourage more hikers to experience the trail and to connect you with the resources you need to enjoy the Florida Trail.
FLORIDA IS DIFFERENT. What you’ve learned on other long distance trails doesn’t hold true in Florida. Our hiking season is flip-flopped from the rest of the United States: October through April. Our best backpacking is in the dead of winter. This is the only long distance trail in the USA where you won’t run into snow. And despite our lack of mountains, the Florida Trail is not an easy trail to complete. That’s why providing hiking information to you to help you get out there and enjoy the trail is an important part of our mission.
Board of Directors
John “JK” Keatley, President and founder
Randy “Chuck Norris” Anderson, Vice President
Phyllis “ShortCut” Malinski, Secretary
LuAnne “Tigger” Anderson, Treasurer
Sandra “Navigator” Friend
BYLAWS. Review our bylaws. Last revision: May 5, 2015.
How can you help us help the trail community?
Local knowledge. Do you live near a section of the Florida Trail, or frequently hike on the Florida Trail? Share your trail updates in our forums and in our Facebook group to let hikers know that something along the trail may have changed recently. As the authors of The Florida Trail Guide are among our volunteers, they help maintain our list of trail updates as they uncover changes to the trail. Your input is appreciated, as the book and app help underwrite the efforts of the Florida Trail Hikers Alliance.
Shuttling hikers. The Florida Trail is a linear footpath with very few loop options. There is a great need for assisting section hikers and weekend backpackers by helping them place vehicles for section hikes. In addition, during the spring and fall hiking season, both thru-hikers and section hikers may be in need of assistance getting to either terminus of the trail, or need help for resupply along long stretches where there are no services. Be a Trail Angel and help out: join our Florida Trail Angels mailing list to get notices we pass along from people who ask for help. We won’t share your personal information with hikers; it’s up to you to reach out to those in need.
Gatherings. Depending on the type of gathering, help may be needed with shuttling hikers to and/or from the trail to the event, donations of food, onsite food preparation, public outreach, logistical coordination, and the like. If you’d like to get involved with one of our gatherings, contact us with some background on your expertise and interests. And be sure to sign up for our mailing list to know what’s coming up.
Outreach. Public outreach is an important part of our mission. If you’ve hiked the Florida Trail, we’d love to have you tell your story, either in writing or images. Are you a whiz with social media? You can help us spread the word about the Florida Trail. If you have a knack for public speaking, you can help our efforts in presenting programs around the United States. Contact us with your details.
Governance. We’re a young nonprofit and have plenty of room to grow. We’ll be forming a handful of committees to deal with various aspects of fulfilling our mission, from outreach and hiker assistance to fundraising. We’ll also be expanding our board. If you’re interested in serving, please take a look at our bylaws and contact us to share your expertise and and interests.