Cumulative updates 9/2013-8/2015
We released the first edition of The Florida Trail Guide in September 2013. These are the cumulative trail and service updates to that edition, including more than 140 miles of relocations. If you own a copy, print this page as an addendum. All of these updates are included in the second edition of The Florida Trail Guide, plus greatly expanded details on trail landmarks.
Trail Updates by section
Construction is complete on the MM 63 Rest Area at I-75 and it reopened on 9/3/2014. It is no longer necessary to call Bob DeGross and ask for a permit to cross the rest area since it is no longer a construction zone.
The trail may be relocated for a mile or so south of MM 63 pending the addition of a pedestrian gate behind the new EMS station.
There is a minor reconfiguration to entering and leaving the I-75 rest area, thanks to large new parking lots being built north and south of the Interstate. The trail still passes under I-75 in the same spot. There is now a breezeway between the restroom facilities, which still have vending machines, as well as the picnic pavilions that have always been available. A new EMS station is at the rest area.
Per the heads-up in the guidebook in 2013, the Florida Trail has shifted back to its original route through the reservation, turning south instead of north at Josie Billie Highway to lead you past services en route to the L-3 canal levee.
8.9, Boundary & Josie Billie Rds. Big Cypress Campground 0.5E
10.1, Osceola Pizza & Games
10.8, Big Cypress Landing. RESUPPLY.
11.2, Big Cypress Rodeo Grounds. Trail turns N to parallel road N of canal.
16.8, join/leave Huff Bridge Rd
18.8, L-3 canal bridge **Reservation Boundary** Camping permitted N of bridge
21.1, junction of dike roads. Continue N
25.2, dike curves due north
27.2, STA-5 complex. Deer Fence Trailhead to E
While the Florida Trail is still in the same place, a constant changeup of closures along the Herbert Hoover Dike due to construction projects by the Army Corps of Engineers means continual changes to the thru-trail route. Here’s the big picture of all of the roadwalks you’ll need to get around construction areas where the Florida Trail is currently closed.
Mile 162.3 Chandler Slough East: There is a new trailhead on Loftin Rd near the railroad tracks with a pass-thru. The trail entrance along Loftin Rd has been relocated south to this point.
The biggest change in the Florida Trail in decades, the trail route has officially shifted to the east side of the Kissimmee River for nearly 45 miles of reroute. Starting from US 98 just west of Basinger, follow a roadwalk up Micco Landing Road to Starvation Slough. You’re then on footpath and forest roads through Starvation Slough WMA and Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park before reaching a crossing at the S65-A lock across the Kissimmee River to a mile south of the KICCO ghost town. SEE FULL DETAILS & MILEAGE CHART.
Need a permit for the Kissimmee section? The number has changed. South Florida Water Management District is shifting to non-800#’s for permits. To get in touch with Kim Willis for free camping permits in the Kissimmee section, call 561-924-5310, ext. 3333
Several new miles of trail added between US 441 and the Forever Florida camp with a reroute that shifts the route into a more scenic area, including access to a boardwalk showing off ancient cypresses along Bull Creek. There has been a slight shift to the trail location due to a “big cat” sanctuary opening along the route.
14.4, US 441 highway bridge over Bull Creek. End of roadwalk. Trail turns E into Forever Florida
15.0, join Broussard Rd
15.2, leave Broussard Rd
17.0, Bull Creek boardwalk to E
17.9, join jeep trail at pond
18.9, cross slough
19.2, Forever Florida camp 0.2N. Permission required: Call 407-957-9794. Hikers must yield to paying guests.
19.6, cross slough
19.8, junction of roads to N and S
20.2, cross slough
21.1, Forever Florida / Bull Creek fence. Jct Bull Creek Loop.
394.5 A short reroute of the trail in Camp La-No-Che takes it off of Boy Scout Rd to continue through the camp right up to SR 42 across from the Ocala National Forest.
Reroute of the trail to pass through the Clearwater Lake trailhead, with a second reroute approaching FR 69 west of Paisley.
0.0, Clearwater Lake trailhead
0.1, Flat spot W under powerline
0.3, Depression with palms to E
0.4, Cross equestrian trail on FR 8786-0.4
1.4, Unmarked but obvious side trail due east 0.2E to Spring Creek Rd in Paisley. Continue 0.2S to PAISLEY services.
2.6, FR 69 (old FR 538)
Reroute to east side of Farles Prairie starting at Farles Lake Recreation Area.
17.1, Farles Prairie Recreation Area. Camping limited to hunters by special permit. Water from pitcher pump or lake.
17.5, Flat spot for several tents
18.0, View of Farles Lake
18.2, Wet prairie to west
18.5, Large flat area under oaks with lake view
18.8, Pair of ponds to west
19.4, Panoramic views of prairie
20.1, Flat area with views of prairie
20.5, Cross forest road with vehicle gate. Enter woods.
21.0, Cross forest road at north end of Farles Prairie. Possible campsites SW on prairie rim
On Kerr Island, the Western Corridor junction has been shifted north, closer to CR 316, and the main route has been shifted east as it approaches The 88 Store. It now goes directly behind The 88 Store.
49.4, Cross FR 11-13.5 / double Jeep track
50.4, Cross ATV trail
50.6, The 88 Store. Trail register at bar. Water. Snacks.
51.0, Junction Western Corridor to W
Mile 468.8 At Buckman Lock, the lock tender is present daily from 6:30 AM to 3 PM. If you arrive at any other time, be sure to have called the FTA office in advance for the gate combination. There is a double door gate with a keyed lock that is not for hikers. Make sure to go past that one to find the combination locked gate. Do not swim the channel. Details from FTA
478.7 Despite the wet, the sulfur spring doesn’t appear to be flowing any more.
481.7 Cross trail has the sign “Cedar Swamp Trail” and is yellow-blazed. The next trail junction north has the sign “Cedar Swamp Trail” as well, but also leads you to the Oak Hammock Trail from the north end of the loop.
482.5 The blue-blaze to Rice Creek Trailhead is a rough trail to follow, crossing old furrows and routing around wet areas with several small bridges. Keep alert for blazes.
482.9 The railroad bridge over Rice Creek has warning signs about safety, but volunteers have created a plank boardwalk across the trestle to address the problem of some gaping holes.
486.0 (estimated) Large trailhead parking area along SR 100 at Roberts Lane. No facilities.
486.2 (estimated) Small trailhead parking area at Carraway Church Rd. No facilities.
488.1 (estimated) water source: there is a small flowing stream that passes under the trail via a culvert
495.0 A short reroute has occurred in Etoniah Creek State Forest to skirt an area that was clearcut along the trail between Holloway Rd and Tinsley Rd.
505.9 There is no longer a phone at the Recreation Center in Gold Head.
506.5 There is no longer a privy at the Primitive Campsite in Gold Head.
2/8/15: The Florida Trail has been relocated back into Camp Blanding off the Keystone bike path on a 6.1 mile route. It now parallels SR 21 to the west, entering Camp Blanding at the kiosk across from where it emerges from Gold Head Branch State Park at mile 510.9, and exiting at Treat Rd. It does NOT eliminate the roadwalk through Keystone Heights, but it does skip the convenience store on SR 21. If you were planning on resupply there, another convenience store is about 5 miles up the trail where it reaches SR 100. Please use the Camp Blanding route only if the base is open. A large sign at the kiosk indicates base status. Use the paved trail along SR 21 if you must bypass Camp Blanding. Camping is not permitted in Camp Blanding. Be sure to register as you enter and drop your registration receipt in the box as you exit
42.0, Camp Blanding north entrance
42.8, Lowery Lake access to E via sand road. Water.
44.1, Cross Alligator Creek. Water.
45.1, Magnolia Lake north shore. Water.
46.1, Magnolia Lake FMA boat ramp. Water.
46.4, Cross Alligator Creek.
46.8, Magnolia Lake south shore. Picnic pavilion with picnic bench. Water.
47.4, Lost Lake. Water.
48.2, Camp Blanding south entrance at Treat Rd.
Permanent closure of the trail to the north of Camp Blanding means you must follow the roadwalk route outlined in the guidebook to get you to SR 100. If you’re resupplying in downtown Keystone Heights, best to simply follow the paved path paralleling SR 21 to Keystone Heights, then the paved Palatka-Lake Butler Trail north along SR 100 to rejoin the Florida Trail.
44.7, Cross SR 21 and join Gas Line Rd W. Services in KEYSTONE HEIGHTS 1.9S via bike path
45.2, Join Immokalee Rd
46.3, Immokalee Rd & Bedford Oak Dr
46.3, Bedford Oak Dr & Fern Creek Way
46.6, Fern Creek Way & Highland Dr
47.2, West Brook Dr & Crystal Lake Rd
47.9, Pass Bedford Lake Rd. Continue on CR18A
48.2, CR18A & SE 2nd PL
48.7, CR18A & 9th Ave
48.9, Conv store at junction of 9th Ave & SR 100. KEYSTONE HEIGHTS services 0.4-3.2W
49.3, Cross SR 100 at SE 75 St
49.5, Cross stream
50.0, Join Palatka-Lake Butler Trail
518.9 There is no parking where the FT enters the woods off SR 100 north of Keystone Heights to cross a piece of USFS property to the Palatka-Lake Butler Trail. However, a new campsite is slated to be built on that property later in the year.
Lake Butler Forest
Mile 545 to 562.6, 2/13/15: A permanent relocation has moved the Florida Trail through Lake Butler Forest to follow the western property boundary of Plum Creek Timberlands. The first 7 miles is a roadwalk along SR 100. There is a paralleling railroad bed on the south side of SR 100 that we hope will be used as the future trail route. Thanks to FTA for mileage details.
75.3, Palatka/Lake Butler Trail & SR 100
75.6, SR 100 & CR 231
81.6, SR 100 & Clark Saw Shop Rd
81.8, NW 137th way
83.4, NW 141st Way
83.9, NW 150th Terr
84.3, NW 99th Ave
84.4, NW 153rd St
84.8, Black Creek Road
85.4, Hard left turn
86.4, Right turn on NW 100th Ct
87.1, Left turn back into forest
87.7, NW 100th Ln
88.5, Road junction
88.7, Left turn
88.8, Olustee Creek Campsite
90.4, Rd 66
91.6, Enter Osceola Experimental Forest – FR 730
93.4, Left turn on FR 779
94.1, CR 231 – Cross to FR 708
94.7, Left turn on FR 707
94.9, Left turn on FR 709
95.3, Left turn on Possum Trot Rd
95.7, Right turn on US 90
96.3, Left turn on CR 250
96.4, Right turn on Box Ct.
96.5, Enter Osceola National Forest
97.7, Blue trail to Olustee Battlefield, Camping, and Parking
Mile 578.6 No blue blazes lead in or out of West Tower camping area, which means you can miss it easily. Northbound, when you emerge from the forest with a road straight ahead of you, a road to your left, and the trail making a hard right turn, you’re there. Follow the road straight ahead of you for 0.2 mile to reach campsites, restroom, and potable water.
The trail now leaves the Suwannee River at US 41 south of White Springs, crosses the river on the highway bridge, and continues into the woods on the northwest side of the river from a wayside park before emerging into White Springs at Adams Memorial Rd. You then follow sidewalks through White Springs, passing all the services, en route to Stephen Foster Folk Culture State Park.
14.1, Pass under railroad bridge
14.2, Pass under US 41 bridge. Climb up berm to cross highway bridge over river. LAKE CITY 12.0+S with full services.
14.4, Wayside park on northwest side of river
14.5, Bridge-to-Bridge Trail campsite
15.2, Jct River Trail & Bridge-to-Bridge
15.7, River views
16.2, River views
16.3, Junction River Trail & West Loop
16.7, Junction Bridge-to-Bridge
17.0, White Springs Tract kiosk
17.2, WHITE SPRINGS. Follow Spring Street W. Stormant’s Grocery 0.1E. Dollar General NW
17.4, Fat Belly’s
17.6, White Springs B&B
17.8, White Springs Post Office
17.9, Junction US 41 & SR 136.
601.1 The State of Florida Nature & Heritage Tourism Center has permanently closed, so restrooms and water are no longer available. The parking lot can still be used.
Mile 608. At Swift Creek, the bridge remains out. To get around the lack of a bridge, the orange blazes temporarily lead you up to a forest road which connects to the entrance road to Swift Creek trailhead; follow the blazes north to CR 25A, west across the highway bridge over the creek, and take the first left to return to the Suwannee River. Watch for the blazes to vanish into the woods on the left BEFORE Rooster’s (the former ACA campground). The bridge should be replaced by November.
Mile 620.4. Blue blazes leading across the Old US 129 bridge will take you downhill and along the river bluffs to the parking & picnic area at Suwannee Springs.
Mile 620.9. At Sugar Creek the trail has been rerouted away from the river to a fordable spot on the creek.
Mile 621.4. West of US 129, the trail no longer follows the river behind private homes. Instead, it is a roadwalk to the end of SW 79th Ter, a dirt road with a dog that runs out into the road and harasses people near the 90* bend in the road. Also, it is no longer possible to park under the power lines as the area has been chewed up into soft sand by heavy equipment. Very limited parking is possible at the end of SW 79th Ter where the trail re-enters the woods. Do not leave a car here overnight.
37.6, Cross under powerline. Bluff to W
37.8, Cross under Old US 129 bridge. Jct Blue blaze to Suwannee Springs.
38.0, Cross Sugar Creek at ford
38.2, Cross under US 129 bridge
38.5, Join SW 79th Ter. No parking.
39.5, Leave SW 79th Ter at turnaround.
Mile 634.6. The trail no longer goes past the Holton Creek WMA Hunt Check Station; instead, there is a 0.2 mile blue blaze to the hunt check station which has a water faucet, picnic tables, privy, and trailhead parking. Follow the new orange blazes to emerge on CR 751 south of where the former roadwalk used to join the highway. Continue north along CR 751 to cross the Alapaha River on the highway bridge, after which the FT returns to the woods downhill to the left.
50.4, Jct blue blaze to Holton Creek WMA hunt check station
50.7, Cross dirt road
51.8, Reach CR 751 across from Gibson Park
52.0, Pass CR 249
Mile 647.2 NEW Alapaha River campsite down short blue blaze to confluence. Fire ring and benches perched above the two rivers, limited tent space, great access to water and scenic view at confluence.
Mile 642.5 (estimated) through Mile 649.8. Just short of where it enters Suwannee River State Park to start the Big Oak Trail, the Florida Trail has been rerouted to become a roadwalk through a hunt-camp type community deep in the woods, and entirely misses the Big Oak loop. This happened because a landowner blocked access to the route off CR 141 near the river. The Big Oak Loop is now only accessible from the boat ramp in this little community. The orange blazes now lead you out to CR 141, the main road, and west to cross the Withlacoochee River bridge, bypassing the peninsula where the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers meet.
58.9, Trail emerges at road just past Natural Bridges
59.7, Pass rural subdivision entrance to W
59.8, Turn W on SW 44th Ln
60.4, Reach CR 141 and turn W
61.1, Cross Withlacoochee River Bridge on CR 141
Mile 651.9 The Florida Trail Association has announced that the sections known as San Pedro Bay and Econfina (or Foley) in the Big Bend are now permanently closed pending sale of more than half a million acres of land in the region. They have posted a suggested roadwalk on their website.
ALL of the Big Bend section between Mile 663.4 and Mile 716.7 has been permanently closed, according to the Florida Trail Association. READ DETAILS>
We followed this roadwalk and found services along that route. The primary ones can be found on your p116 Madison at I-10 map: hotels, campgrounds, and conv stores (the one at the big truck stop W of SR 53 north of I-10 is best). Walker’s Pecan House on US 27, 2.5 miles N of the route, makes a good mid-resupply stop, best reached via Mt. Olive Church Rd N instead of US 27 itself. They have a grill open 8-7 daily, minor resupply, wifi, picnic benches, and may allow tenting if you ask. Water can be obtained from spigots outside churches along the route. Camping is available at the Mt. Gilead Tract of Middle Aucilla CA. We provide full data and service details for this roadwalk in the new edition of the guidebook and will be adding those details to the app soon. The roadwalk was not blazed when we followed it last month.
Mile 736 A large new highway bridge crosses the Aucilla River on US 98, making the crossing much safer for hikers thanks to the broad shoulders. Where you leave the roadwalk to the south to enter Aucilla WMA (and St. Marks beyond that) is well marked.
ST MARKS NWR
IMPORTANT: Nearly all listed and otherwise viable water sources in St. Marks NWR, including Shepherd Spring, can be tainted by brackish water at high tide. Consult tidal chart before entering this area or carry an app with you that tells you when high tide occurs. Plan your water filtering accordingly.
Between miles 744.0 and 747.1, the trail has been permanently relocated to the former high water route due to the difficulty of maintaining the regular route. The former section through the Pinhook Swamp is now blue-blazed.
Mile 763.3 There is confusing signage for southbound hikers at US 98 just past the Thompson House trailhead. Ignore the FNST sign on the north side of the highway and follow the blazed power poles along US 98 towards the Wakulla River Bridge
Mile 767.7 NEW: Wakulla Beach Road Trailhead on W side of road. Limited parking, do not block gate. Kiosk with map and information
Mile 772.8 NEW: Spring Creek Highway trailhead on E side of road where the road splits. Kiosk with map and information. Short blue blaze to main trail.
Mile 780.8 (estimated) water source: stream flowing under bridge
Mile 781.4 (estimated) water source: stream flowing under bridge
NOTE: Since both streams are flowing from bayhead areas towards the Gulf to the west of Marsh Point, these are freshwater sources unaffected by tides.
Mile 794 When you get to the Sopchoppy River where the bridge is missing in the deep ravine, there is a blazed road walk around it. Shortly after starting the road walk there is an unblazed trail to the right marked with a bunch of ribbons. USE THIS TRAIL. It takes almost a mile off the road walk. On either route, you do end up fording the creek.
Mile 822.5 Indian Creek camping area has no signage. It is in a natural bowl in the sandhills just east of the CR 67 crossing at Jewel, and the only way you know it is a campsite is a beaten path uphill to the site of an old campfire. There is no water at the camping area. Bring in water from Coxes Branch (northbound) or Indian Creek (southbound).
Mile 836.9 Vilas campsite still has a sign, but the name is broken off of it.
Mile 852.1 There is no longer a pitcher plant savanna between Camel Lake and Savannas Trailhead. The hydrology of the landscape has changed and different plants have taken over. This section of trail is still a wade, however, in most spots.
Mile 896.9 Minor reroutes have occurred along the Econfina Creek section between Two Penny Bridge and Fender Bridge to eliminate bridges along small ravines.
Mile 905.9 Walsingham Spring is actually Tupelo Spring
Mile 908.3 A permanent reroute has occurred west of Strickland Road due to clearcutting of the sand pine forests to restore the landscape to longleaf pine forest. Details from FTA.
Mile 918.7 BP Shop has been replaced by Chevron at SR 77 Oak Park intersection
Mile 933.4 In Pine Log State Forest, there is a new flagged reroute west of Crews Lake Rd to move the trail upland out of the floodplain of Still Pond. Be sure to follow it even if it has not been blazed yet.
Mile 935.4 The parking area on the east side of the Choctawhatchee River bridge has been locked, likely due to frequent flooding.
Mile 935.9 There is a picnic shelter at Cowford Landing, the first turnoff on the north side of SR 20 on the west side of the Choctawhatchee River bridge, plus access to the river for water.
Mile 955.4 Now that the clearcut on Nokuse at Lafayette Creek trailhead (aka JW Hollington Rd trailhead) has grown in somewhat, the trail has been relocated back to its former route through that area.
Mile 957.5 Be aware that the trail goes into the Lafayette Creek floodplain and can flood. If you encounter flowing water on the trail when you reach Lafayette Creek, backtrack to the forest road that crosses Wolf Creek in order to access the trail again to the west past the flooding danger zone.
Mile 965.0 The Owls Head access point on US 331 north of Freeport is currently inaccessible due to a construction zone for widening the highway through that area.
Eglin Natural Resources Division has launched a new website for online ordering of Eglin permits. The permit price has risen to $20 per Eglin fiscal year (Sep-Aug). They inform us that the site should be able to start processing orders on September 15, and that they will also be able to take credit cards at the Jackson Guard office.
Mile 965.1 Instead of a roadwalk up US 331 to Eglin Portal when you leave Nokuse Plantation, a new section of trail opened in Eglin Air Force Base directly across the highway from Nokuse, paralleling US 331. Eglin permit and other rules apply. It is very difficult to find the start of this new section right now due to road widening.
Mile 965.1 to 968.8 US 331 is extremely torn up due to the road widening, making it very difficult for hikers to walk along the shoulder of the road. The road has high speed traffic.
Mile 1039.0 (estimated) NEW Steephead Campsite and access to Burnt Grocery Creek for water in Yellow River Ravines section. Fire ring and benches.
Mile 1053.8 Buck Pond camping area shows signs of vehicles (ATVs and trucks) tearing across spots where you might camp. It’s a good water source, but not a great campsite. Avoid it on weekends, especially.
Mile 1069.9 The Citgo at the corner where the Navarre Bike Path starts is your best bet for water and restrooms between this point and Opal Beach. It’s easier to get to than the Navarre Pier, although the pier has better views.
Mile 1074.9 There are two parking areas along CR 399 between Navarre Beach and Opal Beach. The westernmost one has a bench at the parking area, within sight of the beach.
Mile 1076.6 There is no fee to walk into Opal Beach. We found the gates unlocked (self pay for driving in) on an April day, and the main restrooms, outdoor showers, and water fountains available.
The entire Blackwater section has been re-blazed in blue blazes. It is now an “official side trail” to the Florida Trail, as opposed to part of the primary route. We take this change to mean that it no longer counts as part of an end-to-end hike. The blue blazes start behind the Harold Store.
p209, mile 0.0: The dike remains closed for construction near Port Mayaca, so don’t try to access the lake from the NENA Trailhead
The west end of the trail on Morningstar Rd has been permanently rerouted around the Mayaca Materials Mine. The trail crew has reblazed the trail and the data sheet for the trail (available on the chapter website http://loxfltrail.org ) has been updated.
p211 data The DuPuis campground is at the south end of Loop 4 not Loop 3. There is now a well for water at Loop 4 Campsite.
p213 If you plan to camp anywhere east of Corbett WMA Hunt Check Station and west of Riverbend Park, you must contact Palm Beach County (land manager) in advance for permission to camp on their lands. Contact Frank Griffith (561) 267-0423 cell, (561) 233-2486 office, or email@example.com. Palm Beach County law enforcement do patrol these properties after dark so you must have permission for camping. No ground fires are permitted, camp stoves only.
p213 mile 45.1: Management of trail lands east of Indiantown Rd are now with South Florida Water Management District. You do not enter Jonathan Dickinson State Park until you cross Hobe Grove Canal at mile 50.4.
p214 data: The trail has been substantially rerouted in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Once we have those details, we’ll share them with you (note: they are included in the app at this time). Meanwhile, follow signage and blazes.
There is a new off-trail opportunity for camping in the Kissimmee-St. Cloud area at Twin Oaks Conservation Area, 407-742-0200, 2001 Macy Island Rd, Kissimmee. Campsites, vault toilet, potable water from pitcher pump, large picnic shelter, great views of lake. Call to reserve campsite, otherwise day use only. Located 2 miles off trail at Henry Partin Rd. Call for status before use, as an adjoining development trashed the park with heavy equipment and the park was closed down as of June 2015.
Kissimmee Lakefront Park has reopened with redesigned walkways and a bike path. Follow the walkways along the waterfront instead of following sidewalks between Lakefront, Monument, and Lakeview in downtown Kissimmee.
32.1, Neptune Rd & Lakeshore Blvd. Follow path along lake
32.6, KISSIMMEE. Full services start 0.3N along Monument Ave to N. Continue along lake into Kissimmee Lakefront Park. Monument of States and library 0.1E.
32.8, Central plaza at Kissimmee Lakefront Park. Concession 0.1E
33.1, Big Toho Marina
33.2, Follow sidewalk S side of Lakeview Dr W
The new paved Dunnellon Trail now creates a pedestrian-friendly crossing over the Withlacoochee River that bypasses downtown Dunnellon to link to the Cross Florida Greenway.
172.7, Gulf Junction trailhead. Follow Shellbark Dr across from parking area.
173.1, Follow Martinelli Blvd E
173.7, Martinelli Blvd & US 41. Follow US 41N
174.2, US 41 & CR 39. Paved Dunnellon Trail to W
174.4, CR 39 trailhead
175.2, Bridge over Withlacoochee River
175.7, Junction Blue Run Trail to services in DUNNELLON
176.1, Cross San Jose Blvd
176.7, Bridges Rd trailhead. Paved trail ends. Water at ballfields
176.9, Follow fenceline through 90* turn
177.2, Model airplane field to N
177.4, T junction with firebreak. Turn W
177.9, Fenceline gap at CR 484. Follow CR 484 E
441.6 Temporary trail closure between SW 49th Ave trailhead and Land Bridge for habitat restoration starting the end of July 2015. A detour is available using the limerock road.
p205, mile 457: Relocation of Baseline Rd to Marshall Swamp section. This segment of trail on the Cross Florida Greenway was relocated in the past month between the Baseline Road trailhead and where it goes into Marshall Swamp. Instead of following the bike path, it has its own new route among the trees between the paved paths.
Reroute in the Ocala West section leading up to the junction near The 88 Store
239.6, Former corridor junction
240.0, Blue blaze 0.4E to The 88 Store
240.5, Junction with Eastern Corridor
Eastern Continental Trail
We spent a week in South Florida this summer and followed the Eastern Continental Trail from Key West to Loop Road, gathering a large amount of detail that has now greatly expanded that section of the guidebook in the new edition. Most importantly, we discovered that the route is longer than depicted in the current edition of the guidebook, and that the canal route description was inaccurate. That data was provided to us in 2006, plus Loop Road to Oasis is now a part of the ECT route.
Scouting the route ourselves, we’ve calculated it to be 204.6 miles from Key West to Oasis. This map depicts how to use the South Dade Greenway system (canal route) to connect from Key Largo to Florida City and points north. We now suggest Card Sound Rd as your alternate roadwalk route if you do not want to walk along US 1, since US 1 has high fences on both sides of the highway and limited places to leave the highway right of way.
SERVICE updates by section
The I-75 rest area has reopened and has entirely changed. The restroom building is no longer enclosed, but has a breezeway with eight vending machines containing a variety of food and drink including protein bars, sports drinks, ice cream and coffee. There is now an EMS station on site on the south side of the Interstate. There is a water spigot along the side of the EMS station nearest the road back to the parking area. Also, a large new parking lot on the north side of the Interstate accommodates overnight parking for backcountry access. The gates on both the north side and south side have moved. There is a slight reroute to the trail on the south side, getting it off the buggy road for the first half mile south or so, making for a nice little day hike.
43.4 Billie Swamp Safari: send maildrop packages via UPS or FedEx to them at 30290 Josie Billie Hwy #1001, Clewiston, FL 33440. Do not use the USPS! Regular or priority mail to them gets re-directed to a post office that does not accept packages.
The reroute explained in the guidebook has taken place, providing more access to services. Services now accessible along the roadwalk route through the reservation include:
46.7 Sweet Tooth Cafe, a bakery with coffee and ice cream. Limited hours. 863-983-4700
47.0 Suds Laundry, a small stand-alone laundromat
47.6 Citgo, conv store with snacks. Limited hours.
47.7 Osceola Pizza & Games. Limited hours.
48.8 Big Cypress Landing. Founded by Sadie Tommie Cypress more than 40 years ago, what was once a small chickee selling cold drinks and roadside crafts is now a grocery store with a diner that attracts visitors for its great burgers. Flanked by two large picnic chickees, the store also has indoor seating and an arts and crafts shop. Open daily at 6 AM weekdays, 7 AM weekends, serving breakfast/lunch/dinner along with good stock of groceries for resupply. Closes 10 pm.
64.8 STA-5 complex at Deerfence Canal has a large covered pavilion (no seating), trailhead parking, and a vault toilet. A popular birding site for Audubon groups.
96.4 CLEWISTON updates
Clewiston Inn no longer serves meals.
Plaza II Laundry is next to Star Food Mart, across from Executive Motor Inn.
Corrected phone number for Roland Martin’s Marina Resort: 1-800-473-6766.
111.6 MOORE HAVEN updates
U-Save and Small Town Coffee & Deli have closed.
New Family Dollar next to Seacoast Bank on E side of US 27 is your closest resupply option
The Fraternal Order of Eagles serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their Aerie under the Moore Haven bridge, and many hikers stopped in there this season.
125.9 LAKEPORT updates
Stop in and say hi to Sherry at Aruba Motel and try one of their great hamburgers!
The dike has been paved between SR 78 at Aruba and Lakeport.
A new paved bike trail leads from Becks Store to the dike.
Cheers & Beers is another dining option just north of Duck Pub.
p42 OKEECHOBEE updates
There is a restroom and paved parking area under construction at Parrott Ave Wayside Park
Lodge at the Lake is now Lakeside Lodge
Five Guys Burgers has been replaced by Tin Fish
Seasonal jumps in lodging prices aren’t uncommon in Florida but in Okeechobee they’re almost silly, we discovered. In January, the Holiday Inn Express wanted $159 (vs. $99 in the fall), the KOA $59 for a campsite. Your best budget options are the Flamingo Motel and the Budget Inn. Be sure to split costs with a friend if you can.
152.9 Kissimmee River Fishing Resort no longer permits tent camping. Their resupply is extremely limited so it’s not worth going out of your way to go there.
168.5 Cracker Trail Store now serving hot foods.
** NEW KISSIMMEE SECTION **
On the 10.7 mile roadwalk from Micco Landing to Starvation Slough, watch for troublesome dogs outside farm worker houses about 2 miles in. Yell at them and they’ll go away, hopefully.
Since the water source for Starvation Slough campsite is a half mile past the campsite northbound, stock up on water at Oak Creek just past the Oak Creek trailhead.
After entering Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, you must use designated campsites. The first one is Hammock Campsite, immediately north of the water source at Duck Slough. The next one is the primitive campsite on the Palmetto Loop, 0.7 mi off the trail. Better to continue on to the main campground. Be sure to stop at the park office to pay your entrance fee and camping fee.
The campground at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park welcomes thru and section hikers. They currently charge $10 per tent for long distance hikers. This includes access to bathhouse and laundry. Laundry only $1 (need quarters and soap) per full-sized washer / dryer load.
222.0 Backpacking tent not good enough for you? River Ranch now offers “Glamping” right off the Florida Trail. Seriously.
248.6 KENANSVILLE update: Red Gator has closed. You can occasionally get a room at the Heartbreak Hotel, even though it’s for sale.
267.8 Little Scrub campsite pitcher pump reported dry.
278.5 Jane Green campsite pitcher pump reported dry. Get water from Crabgrass Creek.
p58 map correction: Road number bottom left should be 192 not 98.
320.5 CHRISTMAS updates:
Don’t bother stopping at Christmas RV Park, they’ve turned away numerous hikers this year who’ve asked about water, laundry, or restrooms.
The Fort Christmas Baptist Church (about 1 mile west of the trail, beside the Post Office) has an outside tap for water, a picnic table and a place to camp. They also have an electrical outlet on the front of the church and wifi. Pastor Ken’s cell number is 407-568-7727.
349.3 Jon Phipps no longer resides in the area so don’t call his number for trail support.
361.0 No campsite will be forthcoming in this area due to hiker safety issues.
p74 PAISLEY updates:
Dollar General has opened across SR 42 from the post office
Country Inn Guest House no longer accepting overnight guests. Don’t call the number in the book, it is tied to a B&B in Deland, quite a ways from the trail.
With the reroute at Clearwater Lake/Paisley, it makes more sense to access Paisley services via an unmarked but obvious side trail north of Clearwater Lake trailhead rather than walking up SR 42 and back from the trail crossing. The side trail (the next trail north of the equestrian trail junction / former FT route junction) leads due east 0.2E to Spring Creek Rd in Paisley. Continue 0.2S on Spring Creek Rd to Pirates Pub, Dollar General, post office and library. Laundromat is 0.2E at Country Squire.
Alexander Springs camp store is not a reliable resupply stop as its hours are sharply cut during the winter months.
FTA & ALDHA volunteer, veteran thru-hiker Randy “Chuck Norris” Anderson assists with info, resupply between SR 40 & Salt Springs, 813-763-7868, RandyandLuanne@hotmail.com
p80 map correction. FR at Penner Pond is now 74, not 77 as it is labeled on the map.
p84 Buckman Lock is now open for crossing daily 6:30 AM-3 PM except holidays. Say hi to Joe Lock (yes, his real name), the lockmaster, when you cross.
Fieldhouse Road trailhead restrooms & water have reopened.
p86 map correction: West of US301, CR 227 is labeled on the map as CR 18.
p91. Laredo Mexican Restaurant is misspelled on map of Keystone Heights. It is Laredo Mexican Restaurant, not Larevo.
p92 The Florida Trail IS closed at Keystone Air Park. However, a new (as of Feb 2015) route through Camp Blanding now parallels SR 21 to the west for a nice hike in the woods. It then returns you to SR 21 at Treat Road. From there, follow the instructions in the book for the roadwalk around to SR 100.
p92 On the west side of Keystone Heights, Tony’s Food Mart includes Tony’s Pizza at the Sunoco station at the intersection of SE 9th Ave and SR 100. The trail now goes right past it so it’s a good resupply option. There is also a new BBQ restaurant east of Tony’s along SR 100: Tom’s Real Pit BBQ, which has AYCE BBQ specials daily, is 1.5 miles east along SR 100.
p95, map. LAKE BUTLER: Lake Butler Seafood House and Carter’s Fried Chicken have closed. Skip’s Deli adjoins the IGA. “Lake Butler City Park” is actually “Lake Side Park.”
In Lake Butler, hikers were allowed to camp out inside the Lake Butler Depot along the Palatka-Lake Butler Trail. Please contact Sarah at Lake Butler City Hall, 386-496-3401, as the building must be unlocked for your use. This is a historic structure; respect your surroundings. Restrooms are inside.
545.0 The trail through Lake Butler Forest has been entirely rerouted as of 2/14/15, please follow the blazes rather than book or map. There is now one designated campsites along the route.
562.6 You now pass within easy reach of the Fastway Food Store, corner CR 231 & US 90, a small store with hot foods – pizza and wings – and deli, sporting goods geared to hunters and anglers.
584.5 Milton Country Store welcomes hikers, $8 to camp at their small campground.
597.8 WHITE SPRINGS updates
A new trail relocation at White Springs leads you through town on the sidewalk past all services shown on the map. At the White Springs B&B, if you can find the owner, Judith, available (she’s retired and doesn’t open the B&B daily), she has a special hiker rate of $25. The White Springs Library has moved farther north along US 41 into a large new building with computer facilities. The Telford Hotel reopened in March under new management: 386-397-2000, 16521 River St, White Springs, FL 32096. Call ahead, however, to ask about a room. They were friendly enough in August, but we found no one there when we visited again in December, and the doors were locked.
mile 608: While the reroute around Swift Creek is in effect (follow orange blazes) it will lead you within sight of Rooster’s Outfitters, 386-397-2724, 10315 SE 141st Blvd, White Springs, new owners of the former ACA campground. It is still a primitive campground with hot showers and restrooms, with a soda machine out front. The owners might provide a shuttle for resupply if you need it and they aren’t busy. If the Swift Creek bridge has been rebuilt, you can follow the side trail just north of it to get to Roosters. Open 5 AM-6 PM daily.
p109 About a mile before Holton River Camp, you may encounter a large resident rattlesnake along the trail. At the River Camp, there is a bear “Rusty” raiding the garbage cans. To find what is being described as the oldest and largest bald cypress tree in North America: Head out the main road past the campground host’s area at Holton River Camp to the locked gate. About 100 yards past the gate on the right side of the road there is orange flagging leading off into the woods. The tree is in a cypress slough about 0.2 down this trail.
p111 Park rangers at Suwannee River State Park shared that serial killer Ted Bundy’s graffiti can be found on the side trail across the old US 90 bridge. It’s on the downriver side towards the private home on the north bank guardrail and reads ” T.R. Bundy 2/9/78.”
p111 Falmouth Crossing has closed.
p115 Econfina River Bridge (Mile 687.1) is not a bridge, but rather a culvert with some water flowing thru it. Double River Bridge is actually right around mile 23 for the section (AFTER the above waypoint).
p117. Rocky’s in Shady Grove accepts maildrops and has permitted hikers to camp behind the store. You can also ship boxes out from their store, flat rate only. Within sight of Rocky’s, Shady Grove Park has a picnic pavilion. Open daylight hours.
p118, Perry: The reroute of the trail to a roadwalk in July 2015 makes Perry less viable as a resupply, so we’re removing it from the next edition. Resupply in Madison instead- the roadwalk walks you past some services. In Perry, Chaparral Inn has been bulldozed. Gandy Motel suggested as budget alternative, $44/2 people. Local shuttles available by Fuzzy, described as a “Nice laid back hippy type with a mid-sized van,” 850-694-2603. Charged $15 for ride to Perry.
p122 data Wakulla River Camp has been moved to just 0.3 mile south of US 98, which makes it a much less desirable camping spot due to proximity to the road.
p125 ST MARKS updates
Pirates Landing Bar & Grill has opened next to the post office. “St. Marks River Cantina” is now Cooter Stew Cafe. Riverside Cafe in St. Marks now has a giant tiki bar (chickee hut) / music venue.
p125. Halfway up the FT route on the paved St. Marks Trail, St. Marks Beach Trader offers free water to cyclists, free ice cream to kids. Located on east side of Port Leon Rd in plaza, open most days daylight hours. Has cold drinks and ice cream.
Mile 761: Restroom at junction of St. Marks Trail & FT just north of US 98.
p125 Spring Creek Restaurant opens daily at 5 PM, weekends at noon.
p126. The Inn at Wildwood is now Magnuson Hotel, same contact info and rate.
p126 Hutton Seafood closed. Use Purify Bay Rd/George Crump Rd/Carter Rd to reach Hamaknockers BBQ on US 98 in Medart across from the VFD, fabulous smoked meat and selection of 11 sauces. A hiker favorite this season!
p127 PANACEA updates
Panacea Motel now long-term stays only. Call the Lighthouse Motel, 850-508-7760, 1160 Coastal Hwy, instead. When visiting Panacea, go to Posey’s Beyond the Bay, across from the Wakulla Welcome Center, for information, advice on camping, help and good food. “Poseys Dockside” is now Mad Anthony’s Waterfront Grille.
p129 map, Sopchoppy: new in 2015 and gaining quickly in popularity is Verlie BBQ & General Store 850- 445-4973, 2146 Sopchoppy Hwy. M-Sa 5am-8pm, Su 5am-6pm. Breakfast and barbecue, resupply basics and fresh sweet tea, facebook.com/VerlieQ
852.8 BRISTOL updates
Slip & Slide Store has opened along the long roadwalk stretch between Savannah Trailhead and Bristol. Look for it on the west side of CR 12 at a road junction.
p134, map: Veterans Memorial Railroad (850-643-6646) in Bristol is a new model train attraction (steam and diesel engines) that takes people on rides monthly and for special events. It is located in Veterans Memorial Park, along the trail route south of the library behind the Bristol Civic Center, 10561 NW Theo Jacobs Way.
The Snowbird Motel in Bristol has smoking rooms only. At least that’s where hikers end up. Which was true when we hiked the AT, so no surprise here.
p137 “Honeybees Diner” is now M.J.’s Diner. The KFC has closed.
p139-40 Hikers report a less-than-friendly reception at the Cherokee Motel in Blountstown, being turned away despite an empty parking lot. The Airport Motel is a friendly alternate option en route (closer to the Apalachicola River) to Blountstown, with a cafe nearby.
Or take care of your resupply needs while in Bristol (staying at the Snowbird Motel). Unfortunately, Blountstown has no other accommodations other than the Cherokee and Airport Motels – other than if a room is available at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, which is well worth calling about a unique Old Florida stay. Some hikers were taken in by a local church when they could find nowhere to stay.
p140, Fountain. There is now a Dollar General at the intersection of CR 167 and US 231, just 0.3S of the trail route. Pine Lake RV is 0.6S of the trail route.
p138 data Rattlesnake Lake at Econfina River Water Management Area has a beautiful white sand beach, covered pavillion with picnic tables, benches and two bathrooms. You can find this area by walking down the access road (which is lined by wood fences) or walking along the lake on an old jeep road at the blue blaze intersection to the Rattlesnake Lake Campsite. Both routes are only 0.1 mile off the trail.
p139 Ron Peterson has moved out of the area and is no longer a contact for local information / assistance.
p144. BP Quick Stop at SR 77 in Oak Park is now a Chevron.
p144 The hiker-friendly Ebro Motel offers a 10% discount for FT hikers, with nice rooms, free long-distance calls, a guest computer, and friendly staff. There is no pool. The Ebro BP is now a Marathon gas station. Subway remains on the premises.
p151. There is a new Love’s Truck Stop just north of I-10 at the SR 285 Mossy Head interchange, a better option for resupply than using RR 214 to Mossy Head.
p157 The trail has been rerouted away from easy access to services at I-10 and in Milton. Bass Kwik Burger in Milton has closed.
p163. There are restrooms between the boat ramp and the parking area at the corner of CR 399 after you leave the Navarre Causeway. There is also a Citgo store on the corner, an easy stop for water.
p163. Navarre Pier has a restaurant/tiki bar and restrooms. There is a $1 fee to walk out on the pier but it’s worth it for the view.
p163. Paradise Inn is a simple retro motel right along the trail and the best budget accommodations in Pensacola Beach. Rate was $99 in April for a king room. Multi-bed rooms and cabins available, tiki bar with live music on site.
p177: Wanna Linga Motel now Lake View Inn & Suites. Same contact info.
p193 Crooked River Campground is right along the trail after a long stretch of hiking along the Withlacoochee River. Sites are first come, first served, nicely shaded, with picnic table / fire ring / water. $15, half price for Florida residents age 65+. Dogs not permitted. Bathhouse has hot showers.
p201 map Ocala 34474 addition: New Racetrac at CR 484 & CR475A (top right corner of intersection) has a bakery, ice cream bar, fresh fruit, sandwiches, best resupply selection of all convenience stores shown on this map.
Eastern Continental Trail
p217 The Botanical Gardens on Stock Island are not able to accommodate hikers.
p221 Mileage from Key Largo to Florida City by road should be 6 miles longer.
p222 Everglades Hostel in Florida City does not offer hiker shuttle services.