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[ft-l] Eglin

    We at Western Gate Chapter would like to thank everyone who helped make 
the Northern Regional Conference such a great success.  Without lots of help 
we would have never been able to cut and blaze 20 miles of trail in one 
weekend.  The FNST is now complete from Rt. 85 to Rt. 285.  We expect further 
help in March when American Hiking Society members have scheduled a week of 
trail construction at Eglin, the only American Hiking Society event scheduled 
in the state of Florida in the year 2000.  We are hopeful the we will be able 
to complete flagging from Rt. 285 to US 331 in time for them to begin work on 
that section of the FNST.
    Today I hiked a new section of the Florida Trail along Juniper Creek in 
the Blackwater State Forrest.  What a beautiful trail, lots of old growth 
pine and juniper, winding along a clear creak with big white sand bars along 
the edges.  We hope to schedule a hike here in the spring when the Mountain 
Laurel, Rhododendron and Flame Azaleas are blooming (yes, you don't have to 
go to North Carolina to see Laurels and Rhododendron, they're right here in 
Florida).  Perhaps you could come and join us.  Look for the Western Gate 
activity schedule on the Florida Trail Web Page.

George Brinkman
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