The Florida Trail: Discovering America’s Forgotten Footpath is a fully illustrated coffee-table style book that documents in text and photos the beauty, history, significance, and ongoing challenges of Florida’s National Scenic Trail. Released in time for the trail’s 35th anniversary in 2018, it is filled with more than 230 spectacular full-page color photographs as well as dozens of previously unpublished historic photos, documents, and images from the archives of the Florida Trail Association. Essays cover topics ranging from the many ecosystems and habitats along the trail that exist nowhere else Earth, the unique challenges facing hikers along its 1,300 miles, the history of the trail, the volunteers who first created and still maintain the trail, and the challenges confronting the trail today such as logging, pollution, urban sprawl, and incomplete sections.
Created in 1983 by hiker Jim Kern and a small group of volunteers, the Florida Trail is possibly the least-known and least hiked of America’s eleven National Scenic Trails, which include the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails. Each year less than a dozen hikers earn the distinction of “thru-hiker” by walking its entire length in one continuous journey, unlike the Appalachian Trail where thousands attempt the journey every spring. Thru-hikers are drawn to the trail for communion with nature, to see Florida’s vanishing natural beauty and wildlife, or to challenge themselves. Part history and ecology lesson, part inspirational photo album, and part travel guide, The Florida Trail: Discovering America’s Forgotten Footpath will tempt readers to say, “let’s go there right now.”
In order to write the book and photograph the Trail's entire 1300-mile length, my wife Tess and I will begin thru-hiking the Florida Trail on January 2nd, 2015 and finish three months later at the end of March. We'll be posting pictures as we go and Tweeting the journey so you can follow along on our journey.
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