The local Westgate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association has contributed hundreds of miles of hiking trails for Santa Rosa County and the region.
The mission of the volunteer group is to develop, maintain, promote and protect a continuous public hiking trail the length of the state of Florida; provide opportunities to hike and camp; and to educate the public by teaching appreciation and conservation.
The Florida National Scenic Trail runs from South Florida to Fort Pickens, but member Vernon Compton said the trail didn't have many miles in the region when the local chapter began in Santa Rosa County in 1992.
"We didn't have much in the Panhandle from the seashore to Eglin," he said. "Now we have miles of trail that crosses Eglin from Navarre to the Yellow River," he said.
For more on this story, see the Nov. 17 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.