Long Distance Hikes
Big O Hike – Thanksgiving Week
The Big O began in 1991 when a few Florida Trail Association members decided to walk around Lake Okeechobee, a journey of 109 miles. Today this annual hike has grown to a major event with 50 to 100 people per day on a series of 9 day hikes. The kickoff is the Saturday before Thanksgiving, usually in Pahokee, FL. Hikers continue around the lake in (usually) a counter-clockwise direction, hiking 8-15 miles a day on the Herbert Hoover dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. Participants stay in campgrounds or motels around the lake and shuttle to the beginning of the hike each day about 6:30 a.m. This is also a big social event with happy hour every day about 4:00 and many hikers going out for dinner in local restaurants. Thanksgiving dinner has traditionally been celebrated at the Clewiston Inn in Clewiston, FL. Click here for photos. For more information contact Mike 'Nomad' Levitt at 561-843-8018. This hike is sponsored by the Loxahatchee chapter.
Ocean to Lake Trail Backpacking Trip – February
This 70+ mile backpacking trip began in 2003 with 7 people completing the hike from Port Mayaka on Lake Okeechobee to Hobe Sound beach on the Atlantic ocean. Back then, the trail was rugged and incomplete. Now the trail is well established, but still provides a challenge. While the backpacking progresses, day hikes are also offered along Ocean to Lake Trail sections. Click here for photos. Contact Paul Guyon at firstname.lastname@example.org for backpacking information or Bea Rogers at email@example.com for day hikes. This hike is sponsored by the Loxahatchee chapter.
"Only Ankle Deep" Backpacking Trip - February
Formerly known as the 7-70 Hike, this annual hike began back in 2006 when Jack Hailman (Tropical Trekkers chapter) wanted to hike 70 miles in 7 days in celebration of his 70th birthday. Deb Blick has continued this tradition with a 70-mile backpacking trip in a different part of the state each year. Click here for photos. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This hike is sponsored by the Florida Crackers chapter.
Panhandle Trace Hike – week before or after Easter
This is a series of 9 day hikes that begin on the the sparkling white sandy beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore and continue to the rolling hills of Blackwater State Forest at the Florida/Alabama line . Some years the direction is reversed. Hikes begin daily about 7 a.m. and cover 8-15 miles per day. Participants stay in campgrounds or motels and shuttle to the beginning of the hike each day. Click here for photos. Peggy Grantham has organized and led this event every year since 2004. You can contact her at 850-776-5147 or email@example.com. This hike is sponsored by the Western Gate chapter.
Exercise Walks, Lake Lettuce Park – Sunday mornings in the winter months
This hike is sponsored by the Suncoast chapter. Lettuce Lake Park is located in north Tampa. Walk the loop up to five miles and then meet for coffee. Click here for photos of this park. Contact Janice Meeks 813-920-0702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Wednesdays – Wednesday mornings in the winter months
This hike is sponsored by the Central Florida chapter. This series has been going on for over 15 years in central Florida. Click here for photos of some of the areas. Contact Rachel & Lou Auspberg at 352-669-2898 or email@example.com.
Wednesday Hikes - Wednesday mornings in the winter months
This hike is sponsored by the Indian River chapter. These hikes are held at various locations near Melbourne, FL. Click here for photos of some of the areas. Contact Jim & Nancy Escoffier at 321-453-1586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday Hikes – Thursday mornings in the winter months
This hike is sponsored by the Florida Crackers chapter. Leisurely walks of about 5 miles in San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park in the Gainesville area. Hikes begin at 9:00 a.m. Click here for information about this park. Contact Dot Morrison at 352-377-7537 or email@example.com.
Bradwell Bay Wilderness Stomp Tromp – one Saturday in March
Slog about 8 miles, in the heart of the Apalachicola National Forest, through one of the largest swamp forests in Florida. Rated by BACKPACKER magazine as one of the 10 toughest hikes in the USA. Click here for photos. Contact Kent Wimmer at 850-523-8576 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This hike is sponsored by the Apalachee chapter.