Florida’s Trailwalker Program is good for state forests and you

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Florida designed its State Forests Trailwalker Program to encourage visits to the state forests while getting some outdoor exercise. While exploring some different areas of Florida recently, I stumbled across the program so it should probably get some better promotion from the state.

In addition to promoting physical fitness, the program drives people to check out the state forests. If they are like Michigan’s, they are probably under-utilized and under-appreciated when compared with state parks.

Rustic camping at Myakka State Forest made for a peaceful evening.

I found out about the program while camping at and hiking in the Myakka State Forest. You can find my YouTube video about that excursion here.

To find out more about Florida’s trailwalker program, visit this page.

The basic idea is to log your miles on various state forest trails. Then you submit your log to the state to receive your first patch. Additional items come as you continue to achieve new levels based on mileage.

The first level you can reach is Trailwalker, which requires you to walk a total of 10 trails in a minimum of five state forests, selecting trails from the Trail List. At the head of each trail is a postage-paid card for you to send to the state as proof of your visit.

You reach the second level, Trailblazer, by walking 20 trails from the list. Then, you’ll receive a rocker patch and certificate. Walk another 10 trails in at least an additional five state forests and you will reach the Trailmaster level. At that time, you’ll receive an additional rocker patch and certficate noting your accomplishment.

Once you have all the patches, they will form an interlocking pattern to display your achievement.

But you don’t have to stop there! Keep on hiking to become a Trailwarrior and you’ll receive recognition for the next 250, 750, and 1,000 miles.

If you get a chance, this is a great way to focus on and keep up with a hiking program while exploring some unique landscapes. Nicely done, Florida.

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