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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us


~This month, head to a state trail to enjoy a healthy activity in Florida’s great outdoors~

Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail

The Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail corridor stretches nearly 47 miles from west of US 17 in Palatka to State Road 238 in Lake Butler.

TALLAHASSEEThe Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service invites Floridians and visitors to enjoy a hike along the state’s extensive, nationally recognized trail system during February and throughout the year. Recognizing the importance of providing a healthy and affordable outdoor activity for Florida’s families and visitors, Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed February as Florida Hiking Trails Month

“February is the perfect time for Florida citizens and visitors to take advantage of the scenic beauty offered by our state’s outstanding system of trails,” said Donald Forgione, DEP’s Florida Park Service Director. “Florida’s hiking trails give visitors access to natural and cultural resources, as well as promote healthy lifestyles, nature-based tourism and economic benefits for the state.”

Finding that perfect trail to hike is now easier with the Official Florida State Parks Mobile App for iPhones and Androids. This interactive guide gives users on-the-go access to Florida’s 171 state parks, trails and historic sites, complete with detailed information about campgrounds, amenities, activities offered, facility maps, directions and so much more. The app allows visitors to plan that perfect outdoor trip by searching for a park by GPS location or activity to find nearby locations to enjoy hiking, camping, boating, birding and more. Once there, advanced GPS and GIS mapping technology allows visitors to track and record trails, mark waypoints and locate friends within the park. There is even an option to cache GPS maps in advance to ensure that navigation remains possible in the event of lost mobile reception.

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 within federal, state, county and city recreational areas. Florida trails promote healthy lifestyles as well as nature-based tourism and economic benefits for the state.

For ideas in planning your own hiking trips, download the new mobile app from iTunes or Android Marketplace or visit www.FloridaStateParks.org. For additional travel-related information, explore Visit Florida’s trails website http://www.visitflorida.com/trails/. For more information about Florida Hiking Trails Month, look for the Florida Trail Association chapter nearest you at www.floridatrail.org.