As an acknowledged national expert on the Florida Trail, our 1,400-mile National Scenic Trail in Florida, Sandra started writing books about the trail in 2003. Since 2012, we’ve collaborated on a very detailed and popular guidebook to the trail, The Florida Trail Guide, which is also available as a map-based interactive app from Guthook Guides. We’ve also produced a comprehensive photo-rich history of the first 50 years of the Florida Trail as a full-color coffee table book.
John’s first hike on the Florida Trail was when it was shiny and new, just a few years after the first section was blazed through the Ocala National Forest in 1966. As a Boy Scout, he earned his 50-mile backpacking merit badge with a hike north from Camp La No Che to Hopkins Prairie. Around the same time, Sandra was roaming Florida with her parents, who took her on hikes at Juniper Springs and White Springs. She didn’t know she was on the Florida Trail, but those were her first footsteps into Florida’s wilds.
Sandra’s section hiking of the Florida Trail started in 1999, when she took to the woods after the loss of her younger sister to cancer. In January 2019, she took her last big hike to connect all of those footsteps end-to-end across Florida, from the edge of the Everglades to the Alabama border. Meanwhile, John has also put in serious miles towards a section hike.
While our website FloridaHikes.com contains the most comprehensive amount of information about the Florida Trail you’ll find online, we wanted to also share some of our more favorite personal accounts of hiking the Florida Trail with you here.
Hiking the Cross Seminole Trail – A hike along the Cross Seminole Trail, which the Florida Trail follows through Oviedo and Winter Springs, means an introduction to suburbia in the Orlando metro.
Our full collection of videos of hikes on the Florida Trail.