16th National Trails Symposium - Orlando, Florida
PRE-SYMPOSIUM FIELD TRIPS:
Please check to see if any of these field trips and mobile workshops are full and closed to additional registrants.
UNIVERSAL TRAIL ASSESSMENT PROCESS (UTAP) COORDINATOR
2 Day Workshop: Saturday and Sunday (see other UTAP training opportunities)
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Cost: $395
The UTAP is an inventory process that provides objective information about trail conditions (e.g. grade, cross slope, width). The information obtained through an assessment can be used by land managers to enhance the safety and enjoyment of trails users (by providing accurate, objective information about the ontrail conditions), monitor environmental impact of the trail, prepare budgets, develop maintenance and construction plans, and identify potential access barriers. The two-day workshop combines classroom and practical, hands-on trail assessment experience to ensure that participants have the skills and confidence to conduct assessments. Registration fees include transportation from Disney's Coronado Springs Resort to classroom/trail sites, training materials, and lunches. State Trail Administrators interested in attending should contact the American Trails office to receive complimentary registration.
FLORIDA EAST COAST ADVENTURE
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. -- Cost: $67
Experience the historical and ecological wonders of the Florida East Coast. Laurilee Thompson, a local naturalist and Florida native, will guide this spectacular tour. The day will begin with a morning paddle in the beautiful Indian River Lagoon National Estuary where sea birds, wading birds, dolphins and manatees are often observed. For lunch, enjoy a delicious seafood treat at Laurilee's restaurant, Dixie Crossroads. The tour continues north to an ancient Timucuan Native American site known as Turtle Mound where trails in and around the mound provide visitors with a view of the Mosquito Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. The day ends with a tour of a historic home at El Dora and a relaxing walk along the beautiful sands of the Canaveral National Seashore. Trails consist of loose sandy soil and several boardwalks. Some kayaking experience will be helpful.
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $46 (2.5 hr. buggy), $85 (2 hr. horseback ride), OR $85 (1.5 hr. buggy ride and 1 hr. horseback ride)
Step back in time at the Forever Florida nature preserve and working cattle ranch. This tour combines "Old Florida" charm with exhilarating and educational opportunities to interact with wildlife in a natural setting. Through videos and guided tours, participants will gain a better understanding of local history, ranching, wetland and upland ecosystems, as well as nature based/cultural tourism and agritourism opportunities in Osceola County. Explore the preserve on horseback or on a fun-filled swamp buggy ride (wheelchair accessible). After the tour, enjoy a walk on the nature trail and through the petting farm or sit awhile in the rocking chairs on the back porch. A gift shop and restaurant are also available. Lunch will be provided.
FLORIDA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $54
Enjoy a spectacular hike along the Florida National Scenic Trail as it takes you through Florida's diverse ecosystems at the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area. This will be a six-mile hike through hardwood hammock, cabbage palm groves, prairie, and pine flatwoods. This trail is not wheel-chair accessible and wading may be necessary if heavy rains have occurred. At the start of the trip, a ranger will give a brief history and description of the area including its special features and wildlife. A short video will also be shown about the natural features of the surrounding area. Lunch will be provided.
A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. -- Cost: $59
Enjoy a four-hour interpretive pontoon boat ride down the Kissimmee River as you observe an extraordinary restoration effort of over 40 square miles of river/ floodplain ecosystem including 43 miles of meandering river channel and 27,000 acres of wetlands. Learn how this restoration effort is also incorporating trails. Be sure to bring binoculars for a close-up look at birds and other wildlife. Participants requiring assistance into and out of the boat should specify this need at the time of registration. Lunch will be provided.
SEMINOLE WEKIVA TRAIL ~ BIKE TOUR
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. -- Cost: $43 (with bike rental), $31 (no bike rental)
Enjoy seven miles of Seminole County's newest paved multi-use trail from the seat of a bike. The trail is 14' wide and primarily follows an abandoned rail corridor through urban, wooded and residential areas. Participants will learn about protecting and maintaining a paved multi-use trail and the typical costs of trail maintenance. Those traveling by wheelchair will be accommo dated either by a shortened route, a ride in a golf cart or other reasonable means. Participants requiring assistance should specify this need at the time of registration. Lunch will be provided at a scenic overlook along the trail at Panera Bread Restaurant.
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Cost: $29
Enjoy a 4WD tour of Central Florida's backwoods country. Traverse prairie, pine forests and scrub oak areas on a large private tract. You will be able to ride "shotgun" as a passenger in 4WD vehicles driven by members of the Florida Four Wheel Drive Association and affiliated local clubs. Numerous stops along the tour will be used to discuss the trail needs of 4WD enthusiasts and to provide an opportunity for discussions between enthusiasts and land managers. Be sure to eat before the tour, as lunch will not be provided.
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. -- Cost: $74
Enjoy a relaxing moonlight paddle on Callalisa Creek, part of a protected lagoon in New Smyrna Beach. A visit to a small island and possible encounters with manatees and dolphins add romance to this excursion. Kayaks, personal flotation devices, and a buffet style salad bar with beverages will be provided. Participants requiring assistance should specify this need at the time of registration.
PADDLE FLORIDA'S WILD AND SCENIC RIVER
Time: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $63
Enjoy four hours of kayaking along the tranquil and beautiful Wekiva River, one of two federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers in Florida. Forty-eight million gallons of water pour daily into the river from Wekiwa Springs and from Rock Springs, seven miles upstream. Participants will enjoy a view of Florida wildlife, maybe even an alligator or two, on this relaxing paddle. Participants with physical limitations may be placed in a tandem kayak for this trip. Please state your interest in this opportunity at the time of registration. Lunch will be provided.
SANTOS "MOUNTAIN" BIKE TRAILS
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Cost: $46 (bike rental); $35 (without bike rental)
Ride the "mountain" bike trails at Santos, just one of the many recreational destinations on the Cross Florida Greenway. Santos trails provide adventure through the woods and down into old limestone quarries of North Central Florida. Santos is all about choice. For the beginner, Spider Kingdom Trail provides an easy ride to the Land Bridge on the Cross Florida Greenway. For those craving a little more adventure, the blue trails present small drops, moderate hills, some twisting and turning in fast curves with the occasional log, root or rock thrown in for added adrenaline rushes. Riders with advanced skills will appreciate the red trails built into the old limestone quarries. Severe drops, steep climbs and moguls challenge the advanced rider. Santos trails offer mountain biking experiences more typical of northern states and are visited by bikers from around the nation. Bikes and helmets will be provided for those who do not bring their own. A Southern barbecue lunch will be provided.
ISLAND TRAILS DISCOVERY
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $74 (2 hr. paddle); $46 (ferry ride)
Step aboard Captain Ray's Ferry or kayak your way across Lake Tohopekaliga for a trip to Makinson Island, once inhabited by Seminole Native Americans. An interpretive hike along the island trails will take you through vistas of ancient cypress trees and Spanish moss. Learn about the history and the ecological significance of the island and the lake. Some kayaking experience will be helpful. Participants requiring assistance should specify this need at the time of registration. Lunch will be provided.
WEST ORANGE TRAIL ~ BIKE TOUR
Time: 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $54 (with bike rental); $43 (without bike rental)
Enjoy an interpretive bike tour of the West Orange Trail, one of Florida's longest and most popular multiuse trails. The first stop along the tour includes a short presentation and exploration of the Oakland Preserve. Next will be a view of a Xeriscape garden followed by lunch in down town Winter Garden. After lunch, bikers will travel to Chapin Station and the Path of Life Garden, then on to Clarcona Park where more rural settings of the trail can be seen. Participants will bike approximately 15 miles along a flat paved surface.
EQUESTRIAN RIDE ON THE CROSS FLORIDA GREENWAY
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $80
See the Cross Florida Greenway and America's first Land Bridge from horseback. Saddle up at the Ocala Foxtrotter Ranch for fun and adventure. Riders will experience Florida's natural beauty along some of the best trails in the state. Riders can join the equestrian ride regardless of riding level. Horses that match riders' experience and ability will be selected from one of the ranch's gentle and smooth-gaited Missouri Foxtrotters. A Southern barbecue lunch will be provided.
BRIDGE BUILDING AND TRAIL MAINTENANCE WORKSHOP
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $53
Join the Florida Trail Association at the Seminole Ranch Project Area to learn about the history, challenges and opportunities of the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST). Practice using trail maintenance tools while enjoying the beauty of Florida's subtropical landscape. Specialty tools will be demonstrated, including trail mowers and "Suwannee Slings," in addition to the usual loppers and brush saws. The FNST Trail Construction Coordinator and the FNST Liaison will be on hand to provide information and answer questions regarding the FNST. Participants will also observe a Student Conservation Association Crew constructing a single pole bridge, and assist in the construction of a puncheon bridge. Building techniques and the environmental constraints for such bridges in this typical Florida "wetland" will also be discussed. Local plant life information will be addressed as the trail meanders through swamps, pine flatwoods, palm hammocks, and oak hammocks. Participants will also be able to observe a local campsite before hiking out to the covered picnic pavilions. Be prepared for wet hiking. Total hiking distance is about two miles. Lunch will be provided. Restroom facilities on site.
HIKE TO AMERICA'S FIRST LAND BRIDGE
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Cost: $29
Hikers will join Florida Trail Association volunteers as they hike approximately 1.5 miles to America's first Land Bridge. The structure, 52' wide and 200' long, provides safe passage for trail users and wildlife across Interstate 75, a major north-south route into Florida. The Land Bridge is landscaped with native vegetation and connects 15 miles of biking trails, 56 miles of equestrian trails, and 40 miles of hiking trails on the east and west sides of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. A Southern barbecue lunch will be provided.
UTAP UPDATE CLINIC FOR TRAIL ASSESSMENT COORDINATORS (see other UTAP training opportunities)
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Cost: $145
Here's your chance to update your skills and knowledge about the Universal Trail Assessment Process. This one-day course will refresh and update your UTAP knowledge with the latest measurement techniques and assessment strategies. The UTAP has been refined to recognize the creation of design guidelines and to streamline the UTAP benefits provided to both land managers and trail users. Both classroom and on-trail experiences will be provided during the course. Registration fees include transportation to the classroom/trail sites from Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, copies of the updated training materials, and lunch. We strongly recommend this as a continuing education course for anyone who attended a UTAP Coordinator Workshop prior to 2000.
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Cost: $51
Enjoy fresh air and natural Florida scenery while skimming across the top of the St. Johns River, adjacent waterways and marshes in an airboat. See numerous aquatic species up close in their natural habitats during a one-hour guided tour. Be sure to eat before the tour, as lunch will not be provided.
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