FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 1, 2012
FEBRUARY IS FLORIDA HIKING TRAILS
Floridians to celebrate the outdoors with a nature hike~
Hikers enjoy the outdoors on the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.
(Photo by Diane Dammiller, Florida Trail Association)
TALLAHASSEE - Governor Rick Scott has
proclaimed February as Florida Hiking Trails Month, recognizing the importance
of this healthy, affordable outdoor activity and inviting Floridians and visitors to enjoy a hike along the state’s extensive, nationally recognized
trail system. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP)
Florida Park Service, along the Florida Trail Association (FTA) invites
citizens and visitors to take advantage of the scenic beauty offered by Florida’s outstanding
system of trails.
"February is the perfect time to take
advantage of cooler temperatures
and enjoy a quiet walk or an invigorating hike on a Florida trail,” said DEP’s
Florida Park Service Director Donald V. Forgione. “With the support of the
Florida Trail Association and many statewide partners, Florida created a
system of greenways and trails that make it easy and affordable for people to
access the beautiful green spaces that naturally call us outdoors this time of
Florida Hiking Trails Month is designed to emphasize fun and
fitness along scenic and diverse trails--from urban trails in the midst of
cityscapes to wilderness trails that run through Florida’s award-winning state parks. Florida has a vast
network of trails that includes more than 2,500 miles of dedicated hiking
trails and several thousand more miles of multi-use, recreational trails. Florida trails
promote healthier lifestyles as well as nature-based tourism and economic
benefits for the state.
The largest in the state, the Florida National Scenic Trail, is a
path that will ultimately extend 1,400 miles from the Gulf Islands National
Seashore in the Panhandle all the way to the Florida Keys.
As one of 11 congressionally-designated scenic trails in the United States,
this national treasure links public lands throughout Florida. The FTA encourages Floridians to
take part in this celebration by exploring the Florida National Scenic Trail
and the many hiking trails it provides in parks and forests throughout Florida.
sections of the Florida Trail were built and have been maintained by FTA
volunteers for decades, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and our
many land managing partners for the benefit of all Americans,” said Dennis
Miranda, Executive Director of the FTA. “Hiking Trails Month gives us an
opportunity to celebrate our public lands by hiking, walking, observing
wildlife or simply enjoying our natural heritage on a safe and well marked