The Coastal Appalachian Trail
From the western most point of the panhandle to the northern most point of Florida’s eastern coast lies some of the most beautiful and remote sub-tropical coastline in the continental U.S.; 1,350 miles of wind carved dunes with flowing golden grass, grand mangrove estuaries, emerald water and remote sandy beaches, unexplored islands, and the occasional urban metropolis.
In 2005 an amendment to the Florida Greenways and Trails Act authorized the Office of Greenways and Trails to establish a distance of marine paths and coasts as the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.
A few hardy individuals have paddled the entire length of the CT. But according to the Florida Paddling Trails Association which oversees the trail, it has never been completed by sail craft.
And that’s exactly what I aim to do.
Shallow water, narrow inlets, difficult tides, and coastal marshes have made lightweight sea-kayaks the de-facto vessel of choice for this trail. But the freedom of sailing appeals to me. It allows for greater exploration and provides for more time to journey to areas off the beaten path.
The journey is daunting; and will surely be grueling. If it was easy everyone would do it! This trip however is more than a challenge in escapism and outdoor pursuit. Florida is facing unprecedented detrimental change; from decreasing water quality, loss of biodiversity and habitat, to financial loss from worsening storms and floods.
Come along as I embark on this coastal Floridian expedition and learn about the stewardship and environmental activism that inspired my journey.