After meetings with land managers during Thanksgiving week, the USDA Forest Service has approved a 43.9 mile route that relocates the Florida Trail along the Kissimmee River, shifting the trail from the oft-flooded western shore to the eastern side between Micco Landing off US 98 and the S-65A lock just north of Tick Island Slough.
The new route passes through Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, making use of its beautiful campground set on an island of oaks amid the vast prairie. Several backpacker campsites are either completed or planned. Lori Burris of the Tropical Trekkers has headed up this volunteer effort for many years, as the existing trail route has struggled due to shifting water conditions with Kissimmee River restoration, trail closures at Avon Park, and deteriorating boardwalks.
The new route is close to being open, with a handful of details to be finalized before hikers can fully traverse it. Once we have the opportunity to pull all the facts together and specific details are finalized through agreements between FTA and land managers, we’ll share full details of this new relocation with you.