Florida Trail Association
Welcome to

The Florida Trail

Field Resources

Volunteers can find the resources they need to learn more about tools and equipment, trail maintenance and construction, and basic crew leadership.

Florida Trail Association Trail Manual

FTA Trail Manual – This manual serves as a guide to Florida Trail Association (FTA) volunteers and staff for engagement in trail development, trail construction, and trail maintenance-related activities for the Florida Trail (FT)
and the Florida Trail System (FTS).

Personal Protective Gear

Your Hardhat:  Inspection and Maintenance –  This technical manual goes in deapth on how hardhats are constructed and how they save lives.  Learn how to test your hardhat to ensure it is still able to protect you!

Chainsaw Tech Tips

USDA FS Chainsaw and Crosscut Saw Student Guidebook – This booklet is given to all Chainsaw and Crosscut saw students during their initial chainsaw and crosscut training course.  It includes valuable information on safety, cutting techniques, proper saw maintenance, and is an invaluable resource to sawyers of all experience levels.

Inspecting, Cleaning, Repairing, and Retiring USDA FS Chainsaw Chaps – This technical manual is an overview of how chainsaw chaps are constructed and how they help save lives and serious injuries.  Understanding your chainsaw chaps and what can affect their performance is a fundamental skill for all sawyers.

Stihl Chainsaw Manuals – The majority of saws purchased by Florida Trail Association for use by our certified volunteers are Stihl saws.  Click the above link to find your particular saw’s maintenance, repair, and use manual.

Trail Maintenance, Construction and Standards

Lightly on The Land–  “Lightly on the Land” by Robert C. Birkby has it all!  Starting with the history of trails, the book goes into trail design, risk management, crew leadership, and all types of trail building and maintaining, this is the trail maintainers “bible”.

Proper Blazing Techniques – Check out this video by the Choctawhatchee Chapter and Caroling Geary, which demonstrates proper blazing on the Florida Trail.

Trail Clearing – Check out this video by the Choctawhatchee Chapter and Caroling Geary, which demonstrates clearing standards for the Florida Trail.

USDA FS National Trail Drawings and Specifications – Here you will find standard drawings and specifications for trail maintenance and construction

USDA FS Wetland Trail Design and Construction – Building trails in wet environments like Florida requires different tools and techniques than many maintainers on mountain and desert trails employ in other parts of the United States.

Florida National Scenic Trail Land Manager Resources – Check out the USDA Forest Service’s webpage for information on Trail Class Standards and design parameters.

USDA FS Geosynthetics for Trails in Wet Environments – Unlike bridges or boardwalks, the right application of geosynthetics can provide an optimal user experience with minimal visual disturbance once the projected is completed.

USDA FS Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook – The Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) has compiled basic Trail Maintenance and Construction information into an easy-to-read format.  

USDA FS Trail Bridge Catalog – Check out some of what goes into building trail bridges with these sample templates.

Hand Tools

USDA FS Handtools for Trail Work – Get detailed information on care, use, proper application and history of a variety of hand tools; every trail crew worker should read in this publication by MTDC.

USDA FS “An Axe to Grind” – Want to learn more about axes? Look no further. This publication is also available on DVD and VHS and can be ordered from MTDC.

USDA FS “Saws that Sing” –  The essential crosscut sawyer manual.  Even today there are times when a qualified, well trained crosscut sawyer can clear trail more quickly and easily than with a modern chainsaw.  Here, sawyers can find information on the history of saws, different styles and their application as well as much, much more.

USDA FS Crosscut Saw Manual – Here volunteers can find information on crosscut saw types, specifications, proper care, and use.

Feeding the Crew

Helpful Guides, Lists and Recipes for planning and preparing food for the work crew.

NPS Safe Food Handling

Suggested Cook Gear List

Washing Dishes at Camp

Hand Washing Station Idea

Kitchen Duty Roster


Questions to Ask When Planning Meals for a Project

Vegetable Beef Soup

White Bean Chicken Chili

3-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Banana Pudding

Grandma’s Corn Chowder

Grandma’s Corn Chowder vegetarian version