Every organization has a unique story behind its founding, and the Florida Trail Association is no exception. It was incorporated in 1964 to rally hikers in Florida around a purpose: building a long-distance hiking trail. This section of the website provides background on how the dream of founder Jim Kern grew to today's reality of more than 1,800 miles of hiking in Florida, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, land management agencies, and the U.S. government.
The Florida Trail Association develops, maintains, protects, and promotes a network of hiking trails throughout the state, including the unique Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST). Together with our partners we provide opportunities for the public to hike, engage in outdoor recreation, participate in environmental education, and contribute to meaningful volunteer work.