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Re: [ft-l] Dan Smith

The trail section below Oasis Ranger Station to Loop Road originally
started out as a compass hike for those who wanted to do that type of hike.
 The only blazes we originally had were a line of blazes along the tramway
facing toward the north.  This was a 1/4 wide length section of blazes.
This was to indicate to the compass hike to stop walking south and follow
the tramway east (the only high ground thru Roberts Strand.  Anyone that
went futher south of these blazes were in a deep strand.  Blazes were then
placed south of the strand to Sawmill Road.  Sawmill Road eventually took
you out to Loop Road.  There was no blazes on Sawmill Road since the Road
was easy to follow (especially since there were still board still on the
road).  We also had a side trail out to the Environmental Education Center
on Loop Road.  This was later abandoned since so few people used it.

Back to the main trail down from Oasis Ranger Station.  So, many people
started to walk the same path as the previous hikers, that a clear trail
was defined.  It was expected that those going by compass would make a
different path each time and not have anything that looked like a trail.
We then had people using the path as a trail.  A few people went off the
wrong way (because they did not use a compass).  So, the trail was blazed
down to the tramway.  As far as I know, it was never officially part of the
FT or FNST.  It was just another place to hike.

Daryl Wells
past Section Leader of  Section 1 - Big Cypress

At 10:46 AM 12/20/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>I agree with all the posts on this topic.
>The biggest problem with the Florida Trail after urban development is
>water - either too much or too little.
>This was a particularly big-water year in South Florida.  There were even
>reports of the deer drowning in the southern-most section.
>It isn't pleasant to hike through waist-deep water.  At best, it can turn a
>lot of people away from the FT.  At worst it can endanger their lives.
>We ARE making progress on bridges and boardwalks in many areas.
>All this being said, we are starting to get some thru-hikers here on the FT
>and it concerns me that we are also starting to get a bad rep among the
>long-distance hiking commmunity from their journals.  Nimblewill Nomad's
>account of his first day on the trail was broadcast over the internet to
>many hiking lists and I think will scare many hikers away from considering
>hiking the FT, even with his acknowledgement that it was a particularly wet
>year.  The long-distance hiking community is a small and close knit group.
>Word travels very quickly throughout it's members.
>As Fred points out, Big Cypress National Preserve themsleves requested that
>the Oasis Ranger Station be made the southern terminus of the FNST and the
>board agreed and changes were made to the hiking guide to reflect that.  The
>area south of there is not FNST, but FT.  STILL, long-distance hikers come
>to hike the whole FT, not just the portions designated NST.  I am never an
>advocate of simply abandoning trail, but I don't think the FTA can afford
>the bad rep we are getting among hikers throughout the country at this stage
>in our trail development.  Perhaps the section below Oasis could remain as a
>trail segment and a greater PR effort be made in our maps and literature
>designating Oasis the southern terminus of the entire FT System.  Or remove
>the Loop Road to Oasis section from the thru-trail maps and put it in with
>the loop and side trails.
>What do the rest of you think?
>* From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *
* From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *

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