98 episodes

With over 1300 miles of orange blazed trail, the Florida Trail traverses diverse habitats throughout the state of Florida and is visited by thru-hikers and section hikers, trail maintainers and volunteers, and day hikers and casual use visitors. These are the stories of the Florida Trail.

Orange Blaze: A Florida Trail Podcast Misti Little

    • Sports
    • 4.9 • 43 Ratings

With over 1300 miles of orange blazed trail, the Florida Trail traverses diverse habitats throughout the state of Florida and is visited by thru-hikers and section hikers, trail maintainers and volunteers, and day hikers and casual use visitors. These are the stories of the Florida Trail.

    Time to Take a Zero (or 200) – A Pause for the Podcast

    Time to Take a Zero (or 200) – A Pause for the Podcast

    The podcast is taking a massive hiatus in 2024! I will be back. If you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, leave a comment or email me at orangeblazepodcast at gmail and we can go from where. Thanks for listening over the years! Burnout how gotten hold of me and I need to reinvigorate my interest in the podcast with a long break.

    • 6 min
    94. An Ecological and Artistic Perspective of the Florida Trail | Claire ‘Sparrow’ Jarvis

    94. An Ecological and Artistic Perspective of the Florida Trail | Claire ‘Sparrow’ Jarvis

    As a nature lover, I am drawn to those who share the the wonders of Florida's natural history as they document their hikes along the way. Claire's Instagram account caught my eye well before their 2022 thru-hike and still captures my interest today even though they are no longer on a thru-hiking journey. The perspective Claire offered on both their Florida Trail and subsequent Appalachian Trail thru-hike was one I deeply appreciated. We talk about those hikes but also about their background prior to coming to the thru-hiking world, life after thru-hiking, and determining whether thru-hiking is in their future and how best to enjoy a hike for oneself. We also talk about Claire's very excellent art, another perspective from their Instagram accounts I have appreciated.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    93. Freeing the Ocklawaha River and The Great Florida Riverway | Margaret Spontak

    93. Freeing the Ocklawaha River and The Great Florida Riverway | Margaret Spontak

    For several years now I have been following the news about the push to Free the Ocklawaha River from the Rodman Dam, first via the Florida Native Plant Society, and later through other entities in Florida. The idea intrigued me because the Rodman Reservoir and the Kirkpatrick Dam as well as the Cross Florida Barge Canal are all intertwined with the Florida Trail. The reservoir was created when the dam was sealed off on the Ocklawaha River in the late 1960s, thus drowning multiple springs and severely altering the ecosystem. Almost since it's creation there has been a call to restore the system. I invited Margaret Spontak, Chair of the Free the Ocklawaha Coalition, on to talk about the history of the project and to provide insight into the coalitions goals and hopeful timeline in restoring the Ocklawaha River system. This episode is part of my greater series highlighting managed lands that cross through or are adjacent to the Florida Trail.

    • 53 min
    92. Ocean to Lake Trail Thru-Hiking, Adventure Racing, and Exploring Florida by Water | Hattie Spring

    92. Ocean to Lake Trail Thru-Hiking, Adventure Racing, and Exploring Florida by Water | Hattie Spring

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    A post shared by Hattie Spring (@searchingforspring)







    Earlier this year I put out a call for Ocean to Lake hikers to come on the podcast and share their stories so I could get their perspective on that segment of what isn’t really the Florida Trail but I think we’ve all come to think of it is as a special little piece of the FT. We’ve heard from Sandra Friend who helped put the Ocean to Lake Trail together as well as Josh Widdowfield on his Ocean to Lake hike and subsequent Florida Trail thru-hike. Hattie Spring answered my call for folks to share their perspective and I am so glad we did. We had a delightful conversation that spans the FT but as well as adventure racing, paddling, volunteering, and about being a FTA Next Gen Coalition member. We cover a lot in our conversation!

    Music: “Breathing” by Lee Rosevere

    • 29 min
    91. Thru-Hiking, LASHing, and Making Magic for Other Hikers | Josh ‘301’ Widdowfield

    91. Thru-Hiking, LASHing, and Making Magic for Other Hikers | Josh ‘301’ Widdowfield

    Earlier this year I asked for folks who had hiked the Ocean to Lake Trail to reach out to me if they would like to share a bit about their experience on that trail for a short series wanted to do here on the podcast. Josh '301' Widdowfield was one of those hikers who offered to chat with me on the podcast and I’m glad he did. Josh thru-hiked the FT this year (2023) but has done several LASH (Long Ass Section) hikes on the AT and PCT, and likes to combine his hikes with giving back to the thru-hiking community through trail magic and hiker outreach. It was certainly interesting to hear how Josh combines his love of hiking with giving back to other hikers and I think something we should also consider more often.

    • 39 min
    90. Completing Our National Scenic Trails | Jim Kern, Founder of the Florida Trail

    90. Completing Our National Scenic Trails | Jim Kern, Founder of the Florida Trail

    I've been wanting to get Jim Kern, found of the Florida Trail, back on this podcast since he was first on the podcast, the very first episode that launched the podcast in 2018. It took me a while but I finally made it happen. This episode is likely to stir up some thoughts and hopefully some positive conversations. I read Jim’s book Broken Promise: The Plight of our National Trails this summer with the express purpose of speaking to him about the book. If you aren’t familiar with the book or his organization Hiking Trails for America, Jim is very eager to get all of our remaining incomplete National Scenic Trails finished without any road walk gaps. As Florida Trail hikers we all know the problems with the gaps in the trail and all wish for the trail to be complete. While most hiking organizations these days rely on the process of easements or slowly purchasing trail corridors, Jim is advocating for the agencies that manage the scenic trails to use their constitutional powers of eminent domain to complete it. After all, that is how the Appalachian Trail was completed. Why not others? Another reason I was interested to hear his perspective was because I’ve been mired in some activism here in Texas this summer to save a state park that had been leased for 50 years by the state and had been located on an energy company’s property. Needless to say, I've had a crash course in eminent domain law and reading Jim’s book added another dimension to the whole subject. I think I’ll save more commentary on this for a longer podcast episode--–I’m contemplating a round table discussion with folks about how we should feasibly move forward in completing all of our national scenic trails. It certainly seems like we should be pushing Congress to do more than they've been doing the last several decades. Even if you haven’t read Jim’s book this is a fascinating subject and if you pair it with the goals we heard a few episodes ago from the FTA, I think we can all reasonably find a solution to closing the gaps in our long trails.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Beardeaux ,

Diamond in the ruff

Finding this podcast got me so excited about the Florida Trail that I did it myself; after having listened to every single episode twice!

Even more so, it pretty cool meeting many of the folx, from these episodes, in real life, out on trail!

Thank you Misty, for all of the hard work that you put into making this podcast a top tier experience for us listeners.

xflor72 ,

Florida Hikes

So glad to have found this podcast dedicated to the Florida Trail. I’m a basic occasional day hiker and live vicariously through other hiker’s stories. I’ve gotten great tips and enjoy the local storytelling. Misti is a great host, some guests are more interesting than others, but overall one of my top podcasts.

C. Sugg ,

Big Cypress

It’s so funny to stumble upon this podcast now and to listen to the big cypress podcast after completing it brings back those fresh smells and feelings. Funny to see this produced on Jan 3rd when I made my backpack through on Jan 8th lol. Keep up the good work!

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