Panhandle ChapterServing Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties
The Panhandle Chapter of the Florida Trail Association was formed in 1982 to serve the central and western region of the Florida panhandle (west of the Apalachicola River). Later the Choctawhatchee and Western Gate Chapters were organized to serve the western end of the panhandle. Today the Panhandle Chapter serves six counties in the central panhandle area of Florida, between the Choctawhatchee and Apalachicola Rivers. The Panhandle Chapter’s maintenance section of the Florida Trail is divided into three Sections, including, from west to east, the Pine Log Section, the Econfina Section, and the Chipola Section.
The first major job of the Panhandle Chapter, in the late 1980s, was to build eight miles of wilderness trail through Pine Log State Forest in the Chapter’s Pine Log Section. Their next challenge, in the late 1990s, was to construct 18 miles of wilderness trail through the Econfina Creek Water Management Area in the Econfina Section. Since then the Chapter has built and now maintains the Altha and Hinson Trails, and adopted the Blountstown Greenway, all within the Chipola Section.
Chapter Activitites: The Panhandle Chapter hosts informative and entertaining meetings once a month, and interesting outdoor recreational activities, typically twice a month. During the warmer summer months, many of the Chapter’s outdoor activities involve canoeing and kayaking on the local lakes and spring-fed creeks and rivers, such as Holmes Creek, Econfina Creek, and the Chipola River. Some of the Chapter’s most popular annual activities are the Hike to the Springs, the Pine Log Gathering, the Moonlight Hike, and the Econfina Flower Hike. The Econfina Flower Hike is held every April at the height of the mountain laurel and wild azalea bloom. For those so inclined, the Chapter welcomes support from volunteers to help with construction and maintenance of our trails and bridges.
Trails the Panhandle Chapter Maintains: