The USDI, National Park Service completed the Florida National Scenic Trail Study and Environmental Assessment in 1982. Thus combined study and assessment investigated the general feasibility and desirability of the proposed Florida National Scenic Trail as well as its potential environmental impacts.
The 1986 Comprehensive Plan established guidelines for administering the Trail. A 1978 Amendment to the National Trails System Act required a comprehensive plan to be submitted to Congress defining the planning, development, management, and use of the Trail. The Plan was developed by an interdisciplinary planning team comprised of members from USDI, National Park Service, US Forest Service, National Forests in Florida, State Division of Recreation and Parks, Office of the Governor, and the Florida Trail Association.
"This is a landmark document for the Florida National Scenic Trail. For the first time since the original Comprehensive Plan of 1986 we have sat as a team of landowners to thoughtfully, and deliberately, set goals for the Trail. These goals provide an overall strategic direction by which we can focus collaborative efforts and allocate resources to achieve specific results that benefit both the Trail and trail user. This document is also significant in that it represents a new partnership model which more fully engages a diverse group of land managers who are connected to the Trail. With this Plan, we build a vision of the Florida National Scenic Trail that is much greater than the sum of its parts and that more fully appreciates the Trail for its distinct and unique scenic, historic, natural and cultural values."
~ Susan Jeheber-Matthews, Forest Supervisor, National Forests in Florida
This first-edition State of the Trail (SOT) Report was designed to provide a "snap shot" of the current conditions and resources available for each segment of the FNST. The SOT divides the state into four regions and further divides each region by Trail segment. Each FNST segment page contains a description and photo typical of that portion of the Trail as well as information regarding the segment's ownership, mileage, volunteer support, trail class, infrastructure, condition, and management priorities. The goals behind the SOT were to better understand the current condition of the FNST and create a template for information and updates to be added as they become available.
FNST Trail Classes
The Florida National Scenic Trail has segments representing each of the five trail classes which encompass a diversity of recreational and environmental experiences. The FNST ArcGIS Online map displays a layer of trail classes that can be turned on or off. The map’s depiction of trail classes represents the class management objective for each segment and does not necessarily reflect conditions on the ground.