More than a decade ago, prior to the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Florida Trail, Sandra started taking notes and organizing images that told the story of the Florida Trail’s inception. One slide show and a handful of interviews happened during that historic event. Six years ago, she started organizing information and photos in anticipation of creating a history of the Florida Trail. Three years ago, knowing the 50th anniversary was an important milestone for the Florida Trail and the Florida Trail Association, we started interviewing FTA members and past hikers in person and via email. We also started hiking pieces of the trail to update our own photo archives, which stretch back seventeen years, and to enjoy new personal experiences on the trail.
In 2015, FTA member Rick Lippert of E-Z Photo Scan worked with us to donate permanent digitization of the photo archives at the Florida Trail Association. We started showing key images to long-time FTA members to help with identifying people in them. In addition to cooperation from the Florida Trail Association, some members we interviewed allowed us to scan their own personal images and artifacts, and for that we are very grateful.
The result is a book that provides an inside look at both the Florida Trail’s growth over the past five decades, and at the Florida Trail Association’s history through the eyes of its members, weaving in some of our own personal memoirs about our involvement with the trail since the 1970s. Hundreds of people contributed to the making of this book, which celebrates the history and culture of Florida’s National Scenic Trail.
Of course, there is much more material that could not fit in the book. This website will gradually showcase additional material, including a full walk through of the Florida Trail from end-to-end, section by section, drawn from our personal experiences on the trail and our other books in progress and in print. Explore and enjoy.