The Florida Trail has been an integral part of Scouting in Florida since the trail’s inception in 1966. Boy Scouts were recruited to assist volunteers building portions of the trail through the Ocala National Forest in the 1960s and 1970s.
Many a trail or Scouting volunteer today traces his love of the Florida wilds from a 50-mile hike in the Ocala in his youth, including John. His lifelong affiliation with Scouting includes being an Eagle Scout, a past chief of Tipisa Lodge 326, and many volunteer roles with troops, including Assistant Scoutmaster.
The trail system encompassing the Florida Trail includes more than 1,400 miles of hiking, with completed segments connected by road walks to make a continuous route from the Big Cypress National Preserve between Miami and Naples to two different trail termini near Pensacola, one at Fort Pickens and one in Blackwater River State Forest at the Alabama state line.
Indispensable resources for hiking the Florida Trail include the official Florida Trail Data Book and Florida Trail maps, both available from the Florida Trail Association. In addition, the following books contain detailed information about hiking sections of the Florida Trail. Our app is a helpful planning tool, as you can preview the trail route and calculate mileages quickly.
Hikes for Scout badge requirements
The following hikes along the Florida Trail will help you complete badge requirements for Hiking and Backpacking, or obtain the 50 Miler award.
We’ve selected them based on distance between trailheads or road access points, no (or minimal) road walking as part of the segment (those with some road walking are marked with *), and the quality of the hiking experience.
We’ll be adding more links to logistics as we continue to expand details on this website.
30 miles: Big Cypress South (Oasis Visitor Center to I-75)
High adventure: an extremely strenuous hike, mostly a wade, through a watery tropical wilderness. Leaders must be seasoned backpackers to tackle this section.
Both leaders and Scouts must be in excellent physical shape with a great deal of outdoor experience and wilderness savvy. This is not a hike to be taken lightly; it is one of the most difficult in the southeastern United States.
10 miles: Moore Haven to Lakeport
10 miles: Lakeport to Indian Prairie Canal
10 miles: John Stretch Park to Rardin Park (via Clewiston to South Bay, South Bay to Pahokee)
10 miles: Chauncey Bay to Nubbin Slough (via Port Mayaca to Henry Creek, Henry Creek to Okeechobee)
20 miles: Buckhead Ridge to Lakeport (via Okeechobee to Indian Prairie Canal and above)
20 miles: Port Mayaca to Taylor Creek (via Port Mayaca to Henry Creek, Henry Creek to Okeechobee)
30 miles: Buckhead Ridge to Moore Haven (via above segments)
Please check on any Army Corps of Engineers closures before planning any backpacking in this section
10 miles: Florida Trail, Tosohatchee
10 miles: White Loop, Tosohatchee
10 miles: SR 50, Christmas via Seminole Ranch and Bronson State Forest to Joshua Creek TH
10 miles: Bronson State Forest, Joshua Creek TH via Mills Creek and Little Big Econ to Snow Hill Rd
10 miles: Cross Seminole Trail, Oviedo to Big Tree Park
10 miles: Little Big Econ: Barr Street to Snow Hill Rd / return
10 miles: Little Big Econ: Lockwood Blvd to Brumley Rd
10 miles: Cassia trailhead, Seminole State Forest via Royal Trails to Camp La-No-Che*
20 miles: Bull Creek Loop
20 miles: Bear Pond trailhead (Seminole State Forest) to Camp La-No-Che*
30 miles: Greenwood Lakes Park (Cross Seminole Trail) via Seminole State Forest and Royal Trails to Camp La-No-Che*
30 miles: Hopkins Prairie campground to Rodman campground
30 miles: Juniper Springs to Lake Delancy
30 miles: Juniper Springs to Camp La-No-Che
50 miles: Salt Springs Marina to Camp La-No-Che
50 miles: Rodman Dam to Farles Prairie Rec Area
See the Ocala National Forest planning page to put segments together to create these trips and others
Western Corridor: Cross Florida Greenway
10 miles: SW 49th Ave to Santos
20 miles: SW 49th Ave to Marshall Swamp
30 miles: Pruitt to Marshall Swamp
50 miles: Ross Prairie trailhead to Lake Delancy, Ocala National Forest* (via Cross Florida Greenway plus Marshall Swamp to Eaton Creek, Eaton Creek to The 88 Store, The 88 Store to Lake Delancy)
See the Cross Florida Greenway planning page to put segments together to create these trips and others
15 miles: Osceola National Forest, Olustee to West Tower
15 miles: Rice Creek TH to Tinsley Road TH* (via Rice Creek, Etoniah)
20 miles: Osceola National Forest, Olustee to Deep Creek
10 miles: Bell Springs TH to Stephen Foster campground* (via Little Shoals, Stephen Foster)
15 miles: Bell Springs TH to Swift Creek Canoe Launch* (via Little Shoals, Stephen Foster to CR 25A, CR 25A to Camp Branch)
15 miles: Suwannee Springs to Holton Creek TH (via US 129 to Holton Creek)
20 miles: Camp Branch TH to Holton Creek TH (via Camp Branch to US 129, US 129 to Holton Creek)
30 miles: Suwannee Springs to Suwannee River SP* (via US 129 to Holton Creek, Holton Creek to Big Oak, Big Oak)
50 miles: Stephen Foster SP to Suwannee River SP* (via above connections)
10 miles: Powell Hammock to Aucilla River Camp / return
15 miles: Goose Pasture to Upper Aucilla Camp / return
10 miles: Vilas to Camel Lake
20 miles: Carraway trailhead to Sopchoppy River camp and return
20 miles: Porter Lake to Jewel, Jewel to Vilas
25 miles: Camel Lake to Vilas campsite and return (portions of above)
30 miles: Porter Lake to Camel Lake (combining above)
High adventure: rugged, swampy terrain, map & compass recommended
10 miles: Nokuse, Forgotten Creek
20 miles: Nokuse, Forgotten Creek & Lafayette Creek
30 miles: Nokuse, Choctawhatchee River to US 331
The Lafayette Creek section includes a few miles deemed high adventure: rugged, swampy terrain
Eglin is a military base. Permits are required in advance for all hikers, and you must check with the base regards closures for military operations before hitting the trail. However, the rugged terrain and frequent water sources make this a worthwhile hike. Details here.
10 miles: N Hurricane Lake to Peaden Bridge Rd (via Wiregrass, Jackson Red Ground)
15 miles: Blackwater River SP to SR 4 (via Juniper Creek, Jackson Red Ground)
20 miles: Hutton Unit to Charley Foster Rd (via Hutton Unit, Juniper Creek, Jackson Red Ground)
30 miles: Blackwater River SP to N Hurricane Lake (via Juniper Creek, Jackson Red Ground, Wiregrass)
NOTE: Adventures Unlimited has group camping, paddling, rafting, ziplines and canopy walks, and a ropes course. It makes an excellent base camp for a troop to enjoy multiple outdoor activities in Blackwater River State Forest.