Bart Smith Photography

​Walking Down a Dream

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Florida Trail

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    Florida Trail northbound over water covered limestone near the southern terminus. Big Cypress Preserve.
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    Florida Panther paw print on the Florida Trail. Big Cypress National Preserve
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    Alligator in Tamiami Canal from the Florida Trail near the Oasis Visitor Center
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    Alligator in Tamiami Canal from the Florida Trail near the Oasis Visitor Center (Photographed through a fence)
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    Landing stork from the Florida Trail. Big Cypress National Preserve.
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    Cypress Hammock. (10 mile camp area). Big Cypress National Preserve.
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    Dragonfly. Big Cypress National Preserve
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    Red Shouldered Hawk, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Fla.
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    Old barn with oak trees from F.T. in Bluff Hammock.
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    Barred Owl from the Florida Trail. Avon Park Bombing Range
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    Lotus flower and lillie pads on march near Istokpoga Canal. Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area.
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    Oak Forest. From the Florida Trail in Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area.
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    Oak Trees covered in Resurrection Fern. From the Florida Trail in Kicco Wildlife Management Area.
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    Dew covered spider web from Florida Trail in Oviedo, Fla.
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    Bald Eagle from Florida Trail in Oviedo, Fla.
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    Palm fronds. Ocala National Forest, Fla.
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    Tortoise outside its den from the Florida Trail in Oviedo, Fla.
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    Cabbage Palm (back lit) Ocala National Forest, Fla.
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    Palmetto and Dwarf Oak on edge of Farles Prairie. Ocala National Forest, Fla.
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    Boardwalk section of the Florida Trail through hydrick hammock. Ocala National Forest.
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    Fern Hammock Springs. Juniper Prairie Wilderness. Ocala National forest, Fla.
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    Polypore fungus, Green Swamp West. Withlacoochie State Forest, Fla.
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    Florida Trail northbound through thicket of Scrub Oak. Ocala National Forest, Fla.
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    Sandhill Cranes along shore of Rodman Reservoir. Ocala National Forest, Fla.
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    Drying mud on edge of Little lake Jackson. Goldhead Branch State Park. Fla.
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    Cypress and Gum Tree Swamp area along the Withlacoochie River. Withlacoochie State Forest, Fla.
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    Long leaf Pine Forest with Palmetto understory. Osceola National Forest, Fla.
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    Florida Trail through Cypress Swamp. Osceola National Forest.
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    Hairy Woodpecker. Aucilla Wildlife Management Area. Fla.
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    Yellow-rumped warbler on a cypress knee. Aucilla Wildlife Management Area, Fla.
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    Aucilla sink along the Aucilla River near Goose Pasture Rd. Aucila WMA, Fla.
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    Prescribed burn. St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla.
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    Hiker along the Florida Trail. St Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
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    Great Blue Heron, St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla.
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    View skyward from trail. St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla.
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    Monarch Butterflys resting along their migration. St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla. (October)
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    Alligator. St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla.
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    Civil War remnants of boilers used by the Confederates to collect salt. St Marks national Wildlife Refuge, Fla.
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    Sand Fiddler Crab. Marsh point, St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla.
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    Cypress swamp, Apalachicola National Forest, Fla..
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    Tree Frog. Apalachicola National Forest, Fla.
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    Trumpet Pitcher-plants. Apalachicola National Forest, Fla.
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    Back porch of Langston Homestead. (A short blue-blaze from the F.T.) Apalachicola National Forest, Fla.
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    Pottery pieces, vestiges from the once booming turpentine business. From near the Florida Trail in the Elgin Air Force Base.
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    White-top Pitcher Plants. Near Alaqua Creek, Elgin Airforce Base, Fla.
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    Longleaf Pine seedling amongst reindeer lichen. Elgin Air Force Base, Fla.
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    Trail through Live Oaks. Naval Live Oaks Reservation, Fla.
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    Morning dew drops on Longleaf pine needles. Blackwater River State Forest, Fla.
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    Sea oats and grasses in dunes. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fla.
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    Sea shells. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fla.
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    The northern terminus of the Florida Trail is Fort Pickens. Fort Pickens is of the Civil War era. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fla.
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    Interior canon chamber at Fort Pickens. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fla.
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    Myself on road damaged by hurricane. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Fla.
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    Northern Mockingbird (Florida's State Bird) on Florida Trail post, St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Fla.

Summary of the Trail




​1983 - Florida NST

The Florida NST pays homage to the unique and varied subtropical beauty of Florida. This 1,400-mile trail follows backcountry alignments across the Florida Panhandle from the Gulf Islands National Seashore down the length of central Florida to Big Cypress National Preserve.  Along the way it passes through three national forests and circles Lake Okeechobee. The orginal concept of this trail was developed by Jim Kern after a sojourn on the Appalachian Trail in the early 1960s. Wanting to create a long-distance hiking trail in his home state, he founded the Florida Trail Association.  In 1966, FTA volunteers began blazing this Trail.  Today, the FTA works vigorously in close partnership with the Forest Service in Florida to maintain and connect this trail to other trails throughout Florida.

(See Florida Trail Association website.)