Trail Tuesday: Hike the Florida Trail in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

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Whether you are looking for a great day hike or a rugged week of backpacking, you'll find that the St. Marks section of the Florida National Scenic Trail fits the bill perfectly. It's a wild place, full of wildlife and history – and of course, the hiking is terrific.

All told, the section of the Florida Trail that passes through the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge stretches about 50 miles in length, and backpackers can gain the special treat of camping (it's also Florida Camping Month, by the way) on refuge property with a permit. After periods of heavy rain, you can encounter some water on the trail (hikers in Florida are pretty used to this) but otherwise the trail is usually dry. 

Good news – if you are ready to get a look at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge from the Florida Trail, the Apalachee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association will be leading a guided hike on Sunday, Oct. 30 in celebration of Greenways and Trails Month. The hike is 6.3 miles, starting at Shell Point Road and ending at Wakulla Beach Road. For more information on the guided hike, contact Dale Allen either by email (wm.dale.allen@gmail.com) or by phone (850-656-8050). Also, check out the Apalachee Chapter on Facebook and on the Florida Trail Association website.

Hey, I've got a great idea. Arrive on Saturday, Oct. 22 for the Monarch Butterfly Festival or the St. Marks Stone Crab Festival, and afterwards set out on the Florida Trail for a few days! Whatever way you choose to explore the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, you won't be disappointed. Have a blast!


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