The Florida Trail, 1,300 miles starting in the Everglades and ending in the panhandle by the Gulf of Mexico. We sat up one night talking about what would be next for us during our winter hiatus from Key West. We started our research the next day learning what we could before we committed to it. Sierra and I quickly found that there was no where near the amount of information for the Florida Trail compared to the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) or AT (Appalachian Trail). Our main resource for us ended up being a forum or two and the FTA’s website.
This traverse would be vastly different compared to what we have normally done in the mountains of the East and West Coast. The total elevation change in our 1300 mile journey would be minuscule, with the highest point being about 300 ft above sea level. Compared to the Appalachian trail with has about 515,00 feet over 2189.6 miles for an avg of 235 ft/mile and the PCT at 315,000 ft over 2650 miles for an avg of 119 ft/mile. The FT will be the flattest hike we have ever encountered.
This provides it’s own special challenges, mental and physical. Clean water will be hard to find, even though we are surrounded by it at all times. Most of what we cross will either be heavily nitrated from farm run off or too salty to filter and drink. The long miles through the swamps will provide a unique challenge we haven’t encountered either. Swamp foot will be real and a daily thing for us. Foot care is going to have a huge daily priority.
In all honesty, I find these unique challenges exciting each and every time. We traversed the Mojave and High deserts on the PCT, The White mountains with miles above treeline and monsoons in the Maine 100 mile wilderness on the AT. We have lived in the shadow of North Americas largest mountain in the tundra of Denali. We have never crossed a swamp before. I can’t tell you how excited we are to start this next journey.