|The Florida Trail Association (FTA) is a 501(c)3
nonprofit volunteer organization incorporated in 1964.
The FTA works statewide to develop and maintain hiking trails for
public use, most notably our 1,400-mile Florida Trail, designated
as a National Scenic Trail in 1983.
Chartered in August 1981, the Suncoast Chapter is more than just
a local hiking club. We are one of 18 local chapters of the Florida
Trail Association providing a place for hikers to gather and enjoy
each other's company in the great outdoors while serving the public
through their trail work. We work in cooperation with the National
Forests in Florida, the Federal management agency for the trail,
and several dozen other landowners statewide to keep the Florida
Trail open for recreational use.
The Suncoast Chapter serves a seven county area in west central
and southwest Florida. The chapter serves members in Citrus, Hernando,
Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
Cities served by the Suncoast Chapter include Bradenton, Brooksville,
Clearwater, Inverness, Sarasota, Sping Hill, St. Petersburg, Tampa
and Zephyrhills. With over 700 members we are the Florida Trail
Association's largest chapter.
The chapter regularly maintains over 200 miles of trail and offers
recreational events throughout the region.
Our members lead and participate in many activities, including
a yearly clam bake, the popular Sunday
morning Exercise Walk at Lettuce Lake Park, and the long running
annual Stone Soup gathering each January.
The Suncoast Chapter maintains The Florida Trail between US 98 north
of Lakeland and Hernando, including all of the Withlacoochee State
Forest. The chapter also maintains 10 Loop trails: Citrus, Croom,
Green Swamp West, Hillsborough River State Park, Little Manatee
State Park, Myakka River State Park, Potts Preserve, Richloam, Upper
Hillsborough and Withlacoochee River Park.
Chapter meetings are usually held on the third Saturday of every
odd numbered month at different locations.
Please see the Activities page on this website for exact time and