As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, the FTA board, staff, and our U.S. Forest Service partners have been closely monitoring conditions in Florida, and working together to provide operating procedures that keep our communities safe.
Recommendations to hikers:
- As always, only hike sections of the trail that are open to the public according to the relevant land managing agency. Refer to our Trail Closures & Notices page for updates.
- Only hike on the Florida Trail if it is within close proximity of your home. A rule of thumb suggested by the American Hiking Society is to stay within about 50 miles of your home.
- If significant travel is required, we recommend instead that you explore your local trails and open spaces to reduce risk of spreading the disease.
- Follow CDC safety guidelines while hiking.
- Avoid trailheads that appear to be crowded.
For the past two months, FTA and USFS staff have been working to create new operating procedures for trail maintenance events in order to mitigate public health concerns amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is our goal to resume volunteer projects as soon – and as safely – as possible. Currently trail maintenance is suspended through July 1st, at which point we will evaluate if further suspension is needed.
As the fall maintenance season approaches, we’ll release the staff-supported Volunteer Work Party calendar for the 2020/2021 season, along with new protocols and resources to ensure everyone’s safety. Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to reconnecting with our FTA community this maintenance season!
- The FTA office in Gainesville remains closed to the public until further notice.
- View Mandatory Operating Procedures for FTA Chapter Activities here.
The Florida Trail will still be available once this passes; but there is far more we could be losing if we do not take this pandemic seriously. Our collective responsibility is to protect the health of our communities and to reduce the strain on our healthcare system. 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.