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Florida Trail: CRS Last Work Day Before Opening

The Choctawhatchee River Section (CRS) of the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) opened to hikers on December 13, 2016. The main track of the trail had been finished previously, leaving four points connecting to roads. Tasks included placing orange blazes to mark the ends of the trail where it meets roads, remove flagging and general trimming with loppers. Install informative signposts. Plus make a change in the route. Here is the work done that day in four parts, a seven-minutes video.

Northern Entry on SR 81

Volunteers unloading posts, post-hole digging, and working together to mark the entry to guide hikers across State Road 81, near Seven Runs.


 

Dead River Rd. Crossing

Two days beforehand, the land owner unexpectedly changed the route. Six people did what countless volunteers have done over the years to pin, flag, clear, about a hundred feet to reroute the foot path. They also had to camoflage the previous entry and change blazes to indicate a turn. Although they do it for love of the trail, these guys are pros. They know the tasks and work as a team safely, efficiently and with joy.

100 feet in of the trail was moved east, with lateral movement of less than 50 feet off the original track. The old track came on to Dead River Road at a corner of Nokuse and NWFWMD land.  The Nokuse land manager indicated that someone could legally argue that they were confused and thought they were on NWFWMD land.  NWFWMD permits hunting while Nokuse doesn't.

This work was in addition to the usual road interface work such as remove old blazes and blaze new ones. Lop. Assemble and erect signposts.

Cypress Creek Blaze

Bruce Varner, the CRS section head, wanted to see if the new boardwalk footbridge spanned the creek when the Choctawhatchee River was at flood stage. It did. He needed to place one last blaze on the trail nearby. See his photo at the top of the page.

Southern Entry on SR 20

The steep hill accessing the trail at State Road 20 ends in a ditch. The solution was a short bridge of expanded metal. It acts as a welcome mat at the trail entry. Volunteers erected a signpost not visible from the highway. The Florida Department of Transportation takes care of roadside signs, so they'll come later.

MapRed line indicates the CRS trail.

Yellow pushpins show the SR81 and SR20 road connections and the Cypress Creek bridge.

A yellow circle shows the Dead River Rd. crossing.


Note there will be YouTube versions when I finish the CRS videos. These are subject to change.

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