Volunteer Work Party

Photo credit: Sandra Friend/FloridaHikes.com

January 19-21, 2018

Weaver Creek Trail Maintenance
Western Gate Chapter

Scroll down to Register for this volunteer opportunity

Join volunteers from the Western Gate Chapter as they perform maintenance work on the Florida National Scenic Trail!

Volunteers will be performing two days of FNST maintenance in Eglin Air Force Base. Covering 724 square miles, Eglin Air Force Base is the largest military reservation in Florida. Public recreation has always been a cornerstone of base policy, so the Florida Trail Association was granted permission to build a segment of the National Scenic Trail through the reservation. It is one of the most beautiful backpacking trips in Florida, with deeply shaded old-growth forest, dozens of streams, deep ravines through the clay hills, seepage slopes with pitcher plants and nice designated campsites.

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: Escribano Point Bayside Campground

Address: Choctaw Field Road
 Navarre State: FL Zip code: 32566
County: Santa Rosa County

Type: Primitive campsite located by cars


Driving Directions:
1. From I-10, Take Exit 31 (Hwy 87S) south approximately 9 miles. Turn right on OLF Choctaw Road (paved road). Before the Outlying Field, turn Right onto Choctaw Field Road (dirt road). Follow Road to the campground.
2.From Hwy 98, take Hwy 87 north approximately 8 miles. Turn left on OLF Choctaw Road (paved road). Before the Outlying Field, turn Right onto Choctaw Field Road (dirt road). Follow Road to the campground.
3. Notes: There is a sign off of Hwy 87 for the WMA campsite. The paved road (OLF Choctaw Road) will turn into a dirt road. Follow the WMA signs to the campground.

Bathroom: Yes (Porta-potty)
Shower: No
Potable Water: No (FTA will provide water)
Power: No

RV Hookups: No – No RVs

Type of work: Trail Maintenance

Section of the FNST:  Florida National Scenic Trail, Weaver Creek
Maintenance Unit: Eglin Air Force Base

Total Hiking Miles Per Day: 5 Miles
Activity Level: Difficult
Start Time: @ 8:00 AM
End Time: approx. 4:00 PM

Minimum Age: 18 years old
Max Group Size: 15 volunteers
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult 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.

Breakfast: Yes – @ 7:00 AM
Lunch: Yes – lunch packed @ breakfast (sandwiches and snacks)
Dinner: Yes – approx. 6:00 PM

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 Staff: Panhandle Regional Representative
Project Contact: Adam Fryska, (850) 888-3502, AdamF@floridatrail.org

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.


This list is not a comprehensive pack list. Please use this list to help plan for your event.

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.

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 be available at this Volunteer Work Party

This event is hosted at a front-country campground with full restroom facilities


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