Class of 2017

2017 was a most unusual year on the Florida Trail. The season started dry, with water sources tough to come by and a real problem with fires – both man-made as land managers rushed to do prescribed burns during hiking season and arson occuring in numerous spots. Our hurricane season ushered in the biggest soaking the state has seen in decades. Winds from Hurricane Irma took down a lot of trees, leading to Herculean efforts by FTA volunteers to clear the trails during the fall. While the peninsula, especially South Florida, remained soaked through the end of the year, with abnormally high water levels in Big Cypress and along the Kissimmee and St. Johns river basins, the Panhandle dried out.

Hikers completing the Florida Trail in 2017

As of early December, the following hikers have reported completions in 2017.
Russ “Rolly” Arnsberger, Fairfax VA
Jake “Timeless” Bennett, Colorado
Clint “Lint” Bunting, Oregon
Bill “Bush Whacker” Bush, Jupiter FL (5x completed)
Dave “Just Dave” Colborn
Melton “Grits” Cockrell, Quitman GA (6x completed)
Chuck “Duck” Covert, Port St. Lucie FL
“Doctor John”
Donna “Eagle Eye” Dearmon, Tennessee
Travis Farmer, Georgia
Brian “Patches” Faye (Warrior Hike), Orlando FL
Rick “Greenleaf” Gambale, Massachusetts
James “Jupiter Hikes” Hoher, Jupiter FL**
Sam “Sammertime Saunters” Holcomb, Tampa FL
Jess “Swamp Ape” Karcher (Warrior Hike), Hollywood FL
Carey “Beerman” Kish, Maine
Arlette “Apple Pie” Laan, Massachusetts
Gretchen “Dirty Bowl” Matt, New York
Scott “DaBear” Mathieu, Massachusetts
Scott “Devilfish” Matheson, Florida
Raymond “Firewalker” McElroy, Florida
Melanie “Snowshoe” McManus, Madison WI
Earl “Ashes” Montgomery, San Antonio TX
Barbara “Late Start” Nash, Maryland
Bill “One Gallon” Nedderman
Pat Paton, Florida
Phil “Concrete” Phelan, Jacksonville FL** (3x completed)
Matt “Bird Food” Roane, Florida
Tilly “Georgia” Rose, Georgia
Albert “Ninja Tortoise” Scott, Eugene OR (3x completed)
Mark “Stumpknocker” Suiters, Georgia (4x completed)
Mat “Grok” Taylor
Glenn “Doc” Tremml, Florida*
Cyrilia Trudel-Gazquez, Quebec

*Completed in 30 days or less
**Set records for Fastest Known Time