Alligator Amblers Chapter

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Serving Charlotte, Collier, and Lee counties
 

Alligator AblersServing hikers in Boca Grande, Cape Haze, Charlotte Harbor, Estero, Everglades City, Fort Myers, Marco Island, Naples, Pine Island, Placida, Punta Gorda, Sanibel & Captiva Islands (Charlotte, Collier, and Lee Counties)

Organized in 2000, the Alligator Amblers Chapter of the Florida Trail Association became a fully chartered chapter in 2002. The chapter offers a diverse slate of activities, from explorations of trails throughout the three-county region to kayak and biking activities and getaway weekends to other parts of the state for education and water-based recreation. Members have been instrumental in assisting local, county, and state agencies in establishing new trail systems at places like Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and Hickey’s Creek Mitigation Park.

In conjunction with the Big Cypress Chapter, the Alligator Amblers assist in maintenance of the southernmost portion of the Florida Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve.

The chapter is also responsible for maintenance of the Collier Seminole Hiking Trail at Collier Seminole State Park.

The Florida Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve is one of the state’s most rugged places to hike. Winding through a haunting landscape of dwarf cypress rising from sawgrass, rare rocky islands topped with pine rocklands, colorful cypress sloughs festooned with dense bromeliads and orchids, and dense jungles of tall ferns. Slipping and sliding on wet marl and wading through ankle-to-knee deep dark water is a norm, and both day hikes and extended backpacking trips must be carefully planned. But the rewards are great: immersing yourself in one of Florida’s most diverse preserves, you truly get in touch with the wilderness.

The Collier-Seminole Hiking Trail is a rugged 6.5 mile loop just north of the Tamiami Trail, 9 miles east of Naples. Check in at the ranger station and ask for the gate combination before starting your hike. This wet landscape holds delights like colorful terrestrial orchids and the largest natural hammock of royal palms remaining in Florida. Bring mosquito protection!