North Florida Trailblazers Want Trail through Florida

Article excerpt

Byline: Rich Ray, Times-Union staff writer

The North Florida Trailblazers, a chapter of the Florida Trail Association, is a First Coast group dedicated to the development and maintenance of a continuous trail from South Florida to the Panhandle.

The group sponsors several activities throughout North Florida and statewide. Activities are open to the public and are lead by certified activity leaders. All activities are free of charge except for usage fees charged by state parks or other recreational facilities.

Next weekend, the group will hit the trail for the Florida Trail Association's annual conference at Deerhaven Campground, in the Ocala National Forest near the Lake County town of Paisley. The keynote speaker will be Marsha Kearney, forest supervisor with the USDA Forest Service. Dave Startzell, executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conference, will appear as a special guest.

In addition to hiking, there will be numerous events and activities including kayaking, raffle, auction, flea market, photo contest and entertainment. For more information, call Paula Snellgrove at 291-9819 or visit www.firstcoastcommunity.com, keyword: trailblazers.

COMMUNITY COLUMNISTS

Our Community Columnists Program is really blossoming with new columnists being added every week. To read all of our community columnists' latest entries, or to start your own column, simply visit www.firstcoastcommunity.com. Here's a sampling of recent community columnist contributions.

STEPHANIE BRAUN'S "OUT TO LUNCH"

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you and your friends claim as your own? New columnist Stephanie Braun reviews a local restaurant that is special to her circle of friends. Read her takes on her recent lunch outing at La Napolera Mexican Restaurant in Orange Park.

RON JOHNSON'S "STRINGS AND THINGS"

Ron features stories about the music scene in Northeast Florida in his biweekly First Coast Community column. This week, Ron interviews veteran Jacksonville musician and owner of ARAS Records Bill Ricci, who doesn't mind speaking his mind about what's going on locally.

MEGAN SEERY'S "THROUGH MY EYES"

Nease High School senior Megan Seery was "stoked" about going to a recent Bad Religion concert in Gainesville. Although Megan knew she'd have a great time, she didn't count on meeting the band. Read Megan's review of the show featuring Recovery, Hot Water Music, Less Than Jake, and, of course, Bad Religion, in this week's column titled Recipe for Great.

YVONNE HARRIS' "OUR FATHER'S HOUSE"

New community columnist Yvonne Harris discusses religious holidays and asks, "Have we lost the true concept? …