Making a new hiking trail in 2011 is hard   1st FTA hike of the new CRS trail in 2017 shows green longleaf pines when the river was at flood stage and the same area after a controlled burn when the river had gone down.

The Choctawhatchee River Section of the Florida National Scenic Trail

Bruce Varner, section leadOpening a new hiking trail through the wilds of NW Florida is tough. The picture above shows what happened to a bushwhacking worker making a first cut along the proposed route in 2011. Briers tore his shirt and scratched his skin. The bump could be a mosquito bite. On December 13, 2016 the trail opened, officially 8.3 miles long. It offers the only public access to a special part of the Nokuse Plantation and Northwest Florida Water Management lands in the Florida panhandle.

The first Florida Trail Association hike of the new trail split into two dates, based on water level assessment. The second picture on the right in 2017 shows green longleaf pines on January 14 when the river was at flood stage and the same area on February 4 after a controlled burn when the river had gone down.

Bruce Varner is the section lead carrying the project to completion and continuing to maintain it. Since dirt access roads go through private or controlled water management property, gates are locked. Getting in and out requires a 4WD truck and a Florida Trail Association (FTA) leader with the right keys.

The following entries follow a work-in-progress, the latest entry first (not chronological).

These views of the Florida National Scenic Trail is from NW Florida, the panhandle. The proposed trail section stretches from SR 81 at Seven Runs to SR 20 west of the Choctawhatchee River. For general location, see this Google map. See also a working map of the trail. Note that the trail meanders in a narrow corridor authorized by the land managers (Nokuse Plantation and Water Management). Back to Florida National Scenic Trail views.

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