The Florida Trail Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, volunteer organization headquartered in Gainesville Florida. The Association was founded in 1966 by Jim Kern with the goal of creating and maintaining a hiking trail across the state of Florida. In 1983 Congress enacted a law creating the Florida National Scenic Trail, the FNST. At that time it became one of eight National Scenic Trails in the United States, which included the Appalation Trail and Pacific Crest Trail among others. Beginning with a small section of trail in the Ocala National Forest, the FNST today stretches 1300 miles from its beginning in Fort Pickens in the panhandle of Florida to its terminus in the Big Cyprus in south Florida The FNST has and is being built and maintained by thousands of volunteers in eighteen Florida Trail chapters across the state of Florida, of which Western Gate is but one. For more information go to the Florida Trail association's home page
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