After monitoring widespread and rapidly changing closures across the Florida Trail, the FTA is strongly recommending that the public cease backpacking on the Florida Trail, including section hiking and thru-hiking. In addition to trail and campsite closures, many local businesses typically used for resupply points are closed.
The FTA feels that ending and postponing long distance hikes during this national emergency aligns wirh widely-accepted medical, government, and scientific recommendations for avoiding exposure and limiting the spread of COVID-19 to our communities. Day hiking with safe social distancing is permissible in the areas of the FT that are currently open (refer to our Trail Closures and Notices Page).
We are working hard to keep our Trail Closures & Notices page
up to date with all closures and official notices, but note that this resource is not updated outside of regular business hours. Please refer to official land manager and agency websites for the most up to date information before heading out to the trail for a day hike.
After careful consideration, the FTA board has made the decision to cancel and/or postpone all in-person events, including but not limited to activity hikes, trail maintenance, chapter meetings, and other meetings, until May 1. During this time, trail work done by an individual would not fall under the US Forest Service sponsored volunteer agreement, and therefore would not be covered by US Forest Service liability insurance. We will reevaluate the circumstances and update our community if this recommendation will be extended beyond May.
In addition, the FTA office in Gainesville has been closed to the public until further notice. With more FTA staff working remotely, you may notice some delays in our ability to process orders from the FTA store, process new memberships, and respond to questions. Thank you in advance for your patience.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 after hiking the trail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
so we can take the necessary steps to alert land managers and other entities along the trail.
Thank you for your passion and commitment to the Florida Trail. Together, we’ll do all we can to reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19. We’re wishing you good health and safety during this challenging time.