Driving across Alligator Alley and through Big Cypress National Preserve last Saturday brought back memories of an earlier trip there, spring break in 2007. For that vacation we spent time camping and canoeing in Everglades National Park, but before we drove home, we took advantage of being in the area and Wayne started his quest to hike the Florida Trail.

Checking websites today (2018), it looks like “segment one” is no longer the beginning. Maybe that will change again in the future. However, it was in 2007, and on March 21st, accompanied by Jeff and Steven, and his trusty green hat, Wayne completed the first 8 of 1400 miles.

Signing in!

 

The obligatory “here we go” photo for Mom

 

And they’re off!

 

My job (and Michelle kept me company) was to drop them off at the beginning and meet them several hours later at the Oasis Visitor Center off of Highway 41. We were told it would be an 8 hour hike. It’s a good thing we went directly there because it only took them 3 hours! Normally the trail is through a swamp and you’re hiking in ankle to knee deep water. However, that particular year there wasn’t even any mud! The rangers at the visitor center were quite surprised when they checked in at the end.

This adventure was started before this blog, but it was continued after. So far progress has been made four more times:

Segment 2 – Spring Break 2009

Segment 3 – Spring Break 2010

Segment 4 – Spring Break 2012

Segment 5 (No blog post yet – it must have been a busy summer that year!)

In case you’re interested in hiking any of this trail, here are some online resources to explore:

The Florida Trail Association

Florida Hikes!

One person’s experience