Volunteer Work Party

Photo by: Robert Coveney


December 08-10, 2017
Backcountry Big Cypress Trail Maintenance Weekend
Big Cypress Chapter

Scroll down to Register for this volunteer opportunity

Join the Big Cypress chapter as they clear hurricane damage on the Florida in Big Cypress National

Volunteers will have the option to camp at the Oasis Visitor Center on Thursday night and may arrive
anytime after 5PM. We will depart on swamp buggies early Friday morning to set up base camp at 7
Mile Camp. We’ll round out the afternoon with lunch and light trail work until dinner. Saturday will be a
full day of trail work. We will try to maximize our time with mechanized equipment, including brush
cutters and chainsaws. We will also refresh blazes and do hand sawing and lopping. On Sunday morning
we will pack up camp and depart on swamp buggies back to Oasis. We estimate arriving back at Oasis by

Hiking boots (description below) and long pants are required. Long-sleeve t-shirts are recommended.
This event is a free volunteer opportunity. Join our crew and have fun!

Name: Oasis Visitor Center (Thursday night) and 7 Mile Camp (Friday and Saturday nights)

Address: 52105 Tamiami Trail E
City: Ochopee State: FL Zipcode: 34141
County: Collier County

Type: Backcountry camping, with gear hauled in by swamp buggy. See packing suggestions below.

Driving Directions:
1. The park is located 33 miles northwest of Okeechobee via US 441 and County Road 724

Bathroom: There are bathrooms at the Oasis Visitor Center on Thursday night. We will utilize a WAG bag toilet in the backcountry.

Shower: No

Potable Water: Yes, we will pack in water on the swamp buggies.

Power: No

Type of work: Trail Maintenance- corridor clearing

Section of the FNST: Florida National Scenic Trail, Big Cypress NP. Our goal is to complete 3 miles north and south of 7 Mile Camp.
Maintenance Unit:Big Cypress National Park

Total Hiking Miles Per Day: Up to 8 Miles
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous
Start Time: Breakfast @ 6:00 AM, Trail Work @ 7:00 AM
End Time: approx. 4:00 PM

Minimum Age: 18 years old
Max Group Size: 10 volunteers
Physical Difficulty: Easy to Strenuous activities. Volunteers will be assigned tasks based on their individual comfort level and technical proficiency.

Restrictions: Only US Forest Service certified sawyers will be allowed to operate chainsaws on the Florida Trail.

When registering, volunteers may be asked about known medical conditions or allergy concerns. This information is treated as confidential information and is only shared with Crew Leaders and the Florida Trail Association Staff. Please disclose all known medical and allergy information. This information enables crew leaders and staff to respond appropriately to medical emergencies. Medical or allergy conditions will not disqualify you from participating in a Volunteer Work Party.

Thursday dinner: Provide your own

Friday breakfast: Provide your own

Friday lunch: Sandwich bar with snacks

Friday dinner: Chili (can be customized for individual dietary needs)

Saturday breakfast: TBD based on dietary needs of group

Saturday lunch: Sandwiches and snacks packed at breakfast and eaten in the field

Saturday dinner: Pesto pasta with optional chicken

Sunday breakfast: TBD based on dietary needs of group

Sunday lunch: Sandwiches packed at breakfast. Can be eaten on the swamp buggies or on your way home.

When registering, volunteers may indicate dietary needs and/or preferences, as well as known food allergies. If we are unable to honor your request, we’ll contact you so that you can provide your own meals. In most cases, we are able to accommodate special meal requests.

Questions About Registration
Registration Contact: Van Tran, (352) 538-7639, vant@floridatrail.org

Questions About the Project
FTA Chapter: Big Cypress
FTA Staff: Kelly Wiener, (518) 369-9057, kellyw@floridatrail.org
Trail Coordinator/Section Leader: Ralph Duharte, soflohiker@gmail.com


To register for this Volunteer Work Party please click the link below, and complete the linked Florida Trail Association form.

Registrations are first-come, first served by date time stamp. You will receive an email confirmation within 72 hours. The FTA reserves a 10-person wait list, and will notify individuals on the wait list within two (2) weeks of the project date. Volunteers may be contacted the week of the event to fill open volunteer registrations.


We will be dropped off at 7-Mile Camp on swamp buggies. There is plenty of room, so feel free to pack as if you were car camping. This VWP lacks modern amenities, so bring what you can to make yourself comfortable. This list is not a comprehensive pack list. Please use this list to help plan for your event. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions about what gear would be appropriate to bring.

One (1) large backpack for all your personal items
One (1) day pack, large enough to carry water, food, rain gear and other personal items
Pack cover (rain gear)

Tent (Rain Fly) and Footprint (if desired for tent)
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad or Inflatable Mattress
Foldable Camp Chair
Ear Plugs
Eye Shades

Bring a Cup, a Bowl and Eating Utensils

Wicking T-shirts (synthetic or wool)
Wicking Underwear
Quick-Drying Pants and Shorts
Sturdy Work Pants
Long-Sleeve Shirts (for sun, bugs)
Socks (synthetic or wool)
Bandana or BuffWarm
Insulating Layers (Night) – Puffy Jacket, Vest, Pants and Hat

One (1) pair of Hiking Boots (required)*
One (1) pair of Camp Shoes (closed-toed)

*Note: Hiking boots can be either trail runners or traditional hiking boots (ankle-support preferred). No tennis shoes or sandals. Extra shoes may be helpful in case the trail is wet. Gaiters can help prevent sediment from entering shoes when wading. Waders are not recommended.

Headlamp and/or small backpacking flashlight
Small lighter in waterproof container or plastic bag

Two (2) 32-ounce canteens or water bottles
OR One (1) 100-ounce hydration bladder bag (preferred)

*Note: Each person should be drinking at least 3-liters of water a day. This is your personal responsibility.

Sunscreen, lip balm, sun glasses, base-ball hat or other sun-shielding hat

DEET-based Bug Spray (recommended)
Head net

Bathroom Essentials (camp soap, shaving kit, etc.), Toilette Paper, Wash Cloth and Pack Towel

Any Prescription Medications or Over-the-Counter Medications (seasonal allergies, pain relievers (Ibuprofen for inflammation/pain), etc.)

Cell phone and charger to contact us, prior to the trip

Safety Whistle

Trekking Poles
Energy Food (Bars, Gels, Chews, Trail Mix)
Energy Beverage or Drink Mixes
Packable Lantern
Notebook and Pen
Book (for camp!)
Camera and Memory Cards
A Smile and Sense of Adventure!

At this Volunteer Work Party the Florida Trail Association will provide the following gear and services.

Experienced Crew Leaders
Appearances by FTA Regional Representatives

Hard Hat
Safety Glasses
Ear Protection

Mechanized Equipment (Mowers, Brush Cutters, Chainsaws, etc.)
Hand Tools (Loppers, Hand Saws, Etc.)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Kitchen Essentials (Pots, Pans, Knives, Etc.)
Sanitary Stations (Bins, Soap, Water, Etc.)


Power WILL NOT be available at this Volunteer Work Party

This event is hosted at a primitive back-country campground with WAG toilet.


Thank you for volunteering with the Florida Trail Association. Your service allows millions to experience the unique wildlands in Florida!