Volunteer Work Party

October 8-14, 2020

Osceola Trail Maintenance Marathon
North Florida Trail Blazers Chapter

Scroll down to Register for this volunteer opportunity

Join the Florida Trail Association for the 8th Annual Osceola Maintenance Marathon in the Osceola National Forest and enjoy some of the best weather of the year. We will maintain all 20 miles of this section while camping along the shores of Ocean Pond. With shared meals provided by the FTA and great friends around the socially distant campfire, come and lend a hand on a great project.

The Osceola National Forest is a natural gem. These forested woodlands and swamps provide many opportunities for a wide range of visitor experiences. Among the significant landscapes found here are the Pinhook Swamp, a mosaic of wet pine flatwoods and pocosin swamp along the forest’s northern boundary; Big Gum Swamp, a wilderness area with more than 13,000 acres of cypress-sweetgum swamp, found near the center of the forest; and Ocean Pond, a large, shallow lake popular for recreation and important in Florida’s Civil War history.

Camping is provided at Ocean Pond Campground,  Bring your kayak to this event and slip away for an evening paddle after work from our own private beach.

Throughout the week, volunteers will work to maintain a total 20 miles of trail through the National Forest. We will use a combination of power tools and hand tools to work the trail as well as make some repairs to trail bridges. No previous experience is necessary and all tools and equipment will be provided by the FTA.

The workdays will be on October 9-13 with the 14th as an extra day just in case we need time to break camp or finish any last minute chores.

Hiking boots and long pants are required. Long-sleeve t-shirts are recommended.

Please note: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FTA team and our partners have dedicated extensive time and care into creating new and safe operating procedures for our FTA events and volunteer work parties. With these COVID-19 Operating Procedures in place, our focus is to minimize all participants’ possible exposure to the virus as much as possible. The comfort and safety of our FTA community members is of utmost priority to us.

Per the FTA Covid-19 protocols we will break into crews of no more than 5 members each day, working on different sections of the trail. Camping will also be broken up into teams of no more than 5 members with one centralized kitchen cooking for the group. Meals will be served and taken back to each camp. Masks will be utilized when appropriate.

This event is a free volunteer opportunity. Join our crew and have fun!

In order to ensure that we are within our group size capacity due to COVID-19, registration for this work party is on a per-day basis. REGISTER through these links below to join one or more of the workdays for this maintenance event!:

Name: Ocean Pond Campground

Address: U.S. 90
Sanderson State: FL Zip code: 32087
County: Baker County

Type: Front-country car camping

Driving Directions:


From Lake City head east on US 90. The road to the campground is just past the blinking light in Olustee. Turn left on 250A and then another left on FR 266. There are signs at each turn leading you to the campground. The FTA campsites are number 35,36, and 37. We have a limit of 5 crew members per site and they will be filled as people arrive.

Bathroom: Yes
Shower: Yes
Potable Water: Yes
RV Camping: Yes
RV Hookups: No

Type of work: Trail Maintenance

Section of the FNST: Florida National Scenic Trail, Osceola National Forest

Total Hiking Miles Per Day: 6 Miles
Activity Level: Moderate
Start Time: @ 8:00 AM
End Time: approx. 3:00 PM

Minimum Age: 14 years old (*Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a Legal Guardian. These individuals must also complete a Youth Waiver Form)
Max Group Size: 15 volunteers
Physical Difficulty: Moderate 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:
FTA Staff: Community Outreach Manager
Registration Contact:
Van Tran, VanT@floridatrail.org

Questions About the Project:
FTA Staff: North Florida Trail Program Manager
Project Contact: Jeff Glenn, jeffg@floridatrail.org


In order to ensure that we are within our group size capacity due to COVID-19, registration for this work party is on a per-day basis. REGISTER through these links below to join one or more of the workdays for this maintenance event!:

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 large backpack for all your personal items
One day pack, large enough to carry water, food, rain gear and other personal items
Pack cover (rain gear)
Safety Whistle
Headlamp and/or small backpacking flashlight
Protective face mask
Personal container of hand sanitizer (hand sanitizer & cleaning supplies will also be provided by the FTA)

Tent (Rain Fly) and Footprint (if desired for tent)
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad or Inflatable Mattress
Foldable Camp Chair
Ear Plugs
Camp mug  or thermos for coffee (clean eating utensils will be provided by the FTA)

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

One pair of Hiking Boots*
One 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.

Two 32-ounce water bottles
OR One 2-Liter 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, sun-shielding hat
Effective Bug Spray (DEET or Picaridin-based recommended)
Head net (optional)

Bathroom Essentials (camp soap, toothbrush, etc.), Toilet Paper, Wash Cloth and Pack Towel
Any Prescription Medications or Over-the-Counter Medications (seasonal allergies, pain relievers (Ibuprofen for inflammation/pain), etc.)

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

Experienced Crew Leaders

Hard Hat
Safety Glasses
Ear Protection
Extra Face Masks

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

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Kitchen Essentials (Pots, Pans, Knives, Plates, Utensils, etc.)
Sanitary Stations (Bins, Soap, Hand Sanitizer, 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!