Governor celebrates Florida trails

Gov. Charlie Crist has proclaimed February to be Florida Hiking Trails Month to celebrate the more than 2,500 miles of hiking trails on the state’s public lands.

“The Florida Trail System is an incredible network of hiking trails that exist within an hour’s drive of most major population areas and tourist destinations in Florida,” said Deborah Stewart-Kent, executive director of the Florida Trail Association.

The Florida Trail, one of eight federally designated National Scenic Trails, now includes loop and linear trails on public lands throughout Florida. This giant trail will ultimately extend 1,560 miles from the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the Florida Panhandle to Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida, forming a continuous wilderness corridor.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways & Trails manages eight state trails, in addition to the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross-Florida Greenway. The Greenway is Florida’s longest green corridor, stretching 110 miles from the St. Johns River near Palatka to the Gulf of Mexico near Inglis.

For more information, see www.floridatrails.org.