The Florida Trail Association (FTA) develops, maintains, protects and promotes a network of hiking trails throughout the state, including the unique Florida National Scenic Trail (commonly known as the Florida Trail). Together with our partners we provide opportunities for the public to hike, engage in outdoor recreation, participate in environmental education and contribute to meaningful volunteer work.
James Kern envisioned the Florida Trail while hiking the Appalachian Trail in the early 1960s.
Upon returning to Florida, he founded the Florida Trail Association (FTA) to help create a long-distance hiking trail in the Sunshine State. The efforts of this dedicated volunteer organization helped establish the first orange blaze on the Florida Trail, painted in Ocala National Forest in 1966.
The Florida Trail was officially recognized as a National Scenic Trail in 1983, joining a select group of congressionally designated long-distance trails. Today you can follow the orange blazes of the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) for more than 1,300 miles, crossing more than 76 partner land management units within the state.
The USDA Forest Service is the administrator of the Florida Trail, charged with planning routes, overseeing development and establishing partnerships to complete the trail. The National Forests in Florida and FNST Coalition, an advisory group of public and private partners, work collaboratively to close the last remaining gaps and establish permanent protection along the entirety of the Florida Trail.