One person CAN make an enormous difference. Wiley Dykes, Sr., one of the strongest and most persistent trail builders of the past 40 years in the Orlando area, has died at the age of 81. Working tirelessly to find a route for the Florida Trail through the suburbs and wild lands of Orlando, he devoted much of his life to building and maintaining the trail for nearly 250 miles through the region. My friend Jon Phipps shared this obituary for our Central Florida chapter of the Florida Trail Association:
Wiley founded the Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Trail Association and volunteered countless hours of work over the years, laying down the Florida Trail through Central Florida. In so doing he established lasting bonds of respect with land managers in the area and developed a trust which lasts to this day. Wiley served as Vice President, Trails for the Florida Trail Association and is a lasting example of selfless, self-motivated volunteerism. Trail workers who’ve enjoyed his company and perfectionism will long extol his virtues and abilities. Hikers who’ll never know this unique man are forever indebted.
Wiley’s family was the First Family of our chapter, with son, Wiley Jr. working many years on trails and his wife, Joyce serving in various officer positions, to include Chapter Chair.
There is an excellent article and obituary on Wiley’s extraordinary background and efforts in building trails that we all now love and appreciate. Condolences and love to his wife Marguerite and the rest of the family as the Florida hiker community loses a legend among us.
A mass will be held on Saturday, February 11 at 9:30 AM at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park.