Help Us Close the Gaps in the Florida Trail

Friends of the Florida Trail has been formed to promote the acquisition of a continuous right-of-way for the Florida Trail as a wilderness footpath, set aside for posterity. Friends of the Florida Trail also supports the Florida Trail Association in this effort.

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Our Mission

The Florida Trail is a 1300 mile footpath that stretches from the Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida to Gulf Islands National Seashore in the panhandle. A thousand miles have been built. 300 miles of gaps require roadwalks that are hot, boring and dangerous. We are asking the Governor and the Florida legislature to close these gaps and complete a continuous footpath, set aside for posterity.

How do we close these gaps?

The experience of the Appalachian Trail is helpful. When Congress created the National Trails System Act in 1968, it provided funding and eminent domain for the Appalachian Trail, but nothing much happened for the first 10 years. So in 1978 Congress held oversight hearings and assigned the acquisition task to the U.S. Parks Service that then launched a 30-year effort to acquire all the right-of-way for the trail. Two-thirds of the 2180-mile trail was already on federal land, which left trail acquisition for the remaining 700 miles. There were 2550 separate acquisitions involved, but the job was completed and the trail is now safe for posterity. By the way, 400 of those acquisitions required eminent domain. For many of them, the task was simply to clear the title or end disputes within families over land ownership.

How else can I help?


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