Our massive book project, a self-published edition of a new guidebook to the Florida Trail, The Florida Trail Guide, kicked off several years ago when Sandra started pulling together all of the updates she’d done, and those received from readers, to her books The Florida Trail: The Official Hiking Guide (2004) and The Florida Trail Companion Guide for Long Distance Hikers (2007). Both books are out of print.
Sandra shopped around the idea of a new Florida Trail guidebook to numerous publishers, but there was little interest as none felt they could make a profit on this project. So she set it aside to focus on other paying projects (the little issue of having to pay the rent being more important) until 2012, when the hiking team of JK & Navigator emerged from the Florida wilds.
Spending several months on the Appalachian Trail convinced us that a guidebook for long distance hikers was essential for the future success of the Florida Trail as a hiker’s destination, and would greatly help Florida Trail Association volunteers in promoting the trail. We were inspired, and humbled, by using The AT Guide, created by John’s neighbor David “Awol” Miller, realizing that we’d have a much harder time figuring out campsites and resupply without such a resource. And that the Florida Trail deserved a great resource too.
While our original idea was to complete the guide before the end of 2013, family matters came first that made us set the project aside. Then, John decided to join the annual end-to-end hike of the Florida Trail supported by Chuck Norris and Tigger, which would enable him to collect some on-the-ground updates for the book while Sandra continued to work on this and other projects at home.
Both an e-book and a printed version of the book will be available in 2013. The book focuses on helping you complete an end-to-end hike of the Florida Trail. A single route is recommended and used as the basis for cumulative mileage charts, but alternate route options are also provided.
The book includes:
- Data charts outlining stops along the Florida Trail – campsites, water, access points, nearby towns, scenic and historic spots -with mileage and easy-to-scan symbols.
- Simple maps that reflect the information on the data charts, showing the trail location in relation to stops.
- Detailed information on resupply stops, including town maps, contact information for hiker services, and brief reviews of services
- Suggested side trips from the trail to unique and unusual destinations in Florida.
- Information on outfitters and shuttle providers along the trail
- Information on hiking in Florida, including plants and animals, weather, and water issues
- Information on “How to Hike the Florida Trail,” including permits needed, recommended gear, and suggestions from hikers who have successfully completed the trail
Sound interesting? If you’d like to know more – and know when the book is released – sign up for the Florida Trail Guide mailing list.