Following in the footsteps of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and ALDHA (Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hikers Association), we acknowledge those who complete the Florida Trail as “Thousand Milers.”
We recognize that completion means different things to different people. So we define “Thousand Miler” as a hiker who has completed at least 1,000 unique linear miles of the 1,400 miles available to hike along the Florida Trail. The Florida Trail is unlike most National Scenic Trails as it provides you options. You can hike east or west around Lake Okeechobee, and east or west around Central Florida. Some people, particularly thru-hikers, choose one side or the other; many section hikers do both. There is an official side trail, the Blackwater section, which some hikers use as an option to complete (or start) their hike at the Alabama border, especially if they are hiking the Florida Trail as one portion of the 4,000-mile Eastern Continental Trail. There are also two unofficial connectors: the Eastern Continental Trail route – which is primarily roadwalk and bike paths – from Key West to the Florida Trail’s southern terminus at Big Cypress, and the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail, a 61-mile mostly-footpath spur trail from the Florida Trail’s Okeechobee East section to the Atlantic Ocean at Hobe Sound Beach.
The Florida Trail includes nearly 300 miles of roadwalks, which some hikers opt to skip over for safety or aesthetic reasons. The full mileage of the Florida National Scenic Trail is more than 1,400 miles. Add in the unofficial connectors and it tops 1,500 miles. But a typical linear thru-hike is slightly more than 1,100 miles. Thus the “Thousand Miler.”
ALL hikers who have completed the Florida Trail are eligible for an award certificate as shown in the samples above. We will email you a a JPG that you can print or display on social media. To get yours, do the following:
1) Email us a photo to be included in the design. The photo does not have to be of you, but can be a favorite photo you took while on the trail. Horizontal photos are preferred.
2) Please self-report your completion via our form on the Florida Trail completions page. Be sure to include your real name, trail name, and year completed, as these are all incorporated into the award certificate. We also need your email address so we can send it to you.
To commemorate your achievement as a Thousand Miler, we have partnered with a Florida company, Fracture, to create a uniquely customized commemorative award, as shown in the samples below. The award plaque is 9.6″ wide by 7.2″ tall. It is reverse printed on glass and self-mounting, so it can be quickly and easily hung on your wall. It shows the current route of the Florida Trail and its side trails as the backdrop, so you can show family and friends the distance you’ve walked. It is signed by our current president of the Florida Trail Hikers Alliance and by the founder of the Florida Trail, Jim Kern.
We do not have a sponsor for these plaques yet, so we ask for a donation of $45 to cover actual costs of production and shipping. If you’d like to sponsor plaques for fellow hikers, please feel free to send us a check or make a donation through Paypal and specify that it’s for the Thousand Miler fund.
Click on any of these samples to see them in detail.
To obtain your Thousand Miler award plaque:
1) Fill out this form with your name, trail name, and year as you want it to appear on the plaque. As shown in the examples above, couples may share one plaque. You may also specify multiple years on one plaque. Your shipping address and email are crucial so your order can be fulfilled. Plaques can only be shipped to addresses within the United States.
2) Email us a photo to be included in the design. Please make sure it is high quality, high resolution (file size of at least 1 Mb), and horizontal. The photo does not have to be of you, but can be a favorite photo you took while on the trail.
Inquiries about sponsorships of this recognition program are welcome.