What is the Florida Trail (FNST)?

IMG_2001The Florida Trail (FNST) is a congressionally designated National Scenic Trail.  It is approximately 1,300-miles long, and is intended to offer a continuous, permanent non-motorized recreation opportunity for hiking and other compatible activities.  Over its length, it showcases the incredible biodiversity, history, and rich culture of Florida.

The Florida Trail begins on the edge of the everglades ecosystem in Big Cypress National Preserve.  It’s end point lies in the white sands of Gulf Islands National Seashore at historic Fort Pickens. The Florida Trail is one of the United States 11 National Scenic Trails, and offers an experience that is unique to Florida. No other trail in the world compares to the Florida Trail.

Learn more about each section of the Florida Trail here.

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Together with our partners, Florida Trail Association and the USDA Forest Service builds, maintains, protects, and promotes the Florida Trail. Our guiding document in trail management is the Comprehensive Plan, which provides guidelines for planning, development, management, and protection of the FNST.

The Florida Trail is far from complete. Gaps exist where users must hike along roads, and much of the trail is not permanently protected from urban encroachment, loss of access, and illegal use. Other sections of the Florida Trail are in an “interim routing stage,” until a more scenic and suitable option can be established.  

Here is a map of certified Florida National Scenic Trail. 

The Florida Trail makes use of multiple State Trails, as it winds its way north.  FTA partners with more than 28 different land management agencies, and countless private landowners to manage and protect the trail.

Recognizing the rapid urbanization of Florida and the loss of our state’s natural areas, Florida Trail Association is committed to building, protecting, and preserving the Florida Trail, as a scenic hiking trail. This trail showcases the diversity of Florida’s ecosystems, which includes the 6th most bio-diverse ecosystem in the continental United States (Nokuse Plantation). The Florida Trail is well-maintained, has modern facilities, and can accommodate a broader range of users including children, bicyclists, and people with accessibility needs.  Florida Trail Association supports and encourages all people to get outdoors and recreate responsibly on the Florida Trail.

You can help us protect this significant public resource for the enjoyment of future generations: Click HERE to find out how!