Hiking the Florida Trail
The Florida Trail stretches the length and breadth of the Sunshine State, from Gulf Islands National Seashore in the panhandle to Big Cypress National Preserve less than an hour from suburban Miami. In 2006, veteran hiker and outdoorsman Johnny Molloy hiked the length of the trail in one three-month stretch. This engaging story of his journey, the first narrative account of a Florida Trail thru-hike, is peppered with outrageous and charming characters. Molloy’s peanut butter thermometer and his "Five Foot Radius Theory of Camping" for tired hikers will make experienced backpackers smile knowingly. Novice hikers will find his insider tips priceless. Beginning at the southern end of the trail, less than an hour from suburban Miami, he was challenged by some of the roughest terrain he would face before making his way around Lake Okeechobee, the second largest freshwater lake in the continental United States. Traveling north and west traversing sand pine scrub forests, he made his way up the Suwannee River, around the Big Bend into the cathedral of palms in St. Marks Refuge, through the Apalachicola National Forest, and along white sand beaches to the Alabama state line. Many may never hike the entire course of the Florida Trail, but its convenient trailheads make it easily accessible to any resident or tourist. So, start the adventure; plan your own short hike, thru-hike, or simply join Molloy without leaving the comfort of your armchair.