Mission & Overview
The Bartram Trail Society of Florida is civic organization committed to historic and environmental education, recreation, and preservation and works to promote interest in developing public access recreational trails (paddling, hiking, and biking) and related activities along the routes taken by John and William Bartram through Florida and to coordinate a state-wide unified effort toward that end. The Society works to encourage the study, preservation and interpretation of the William Bartram heritage. In addition, the Society is the steward of the Bartram Trail in Putnam County National Recreation Trail in cooperation with Putnam County.
The Society is composed of a diverse group of people with far-reaching interests. Our membership includes naturalists, nature lovers, gardeners, historians, archaeologists, literary and scientific scholars, botanists, biologists, birders, environmentalists, members of historical and gardening organizations, and those with a commitment to historic and environmental education and preservation. Our membership is open to the public.
The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Annually, the Society coordinates with the City of Palatka to organize the St. Johns River Bartram Frolic, an educational and recreational event that celebrates and commemorates William Bartram’s visit to a Seminole village that was present at the site of present-day Palatka during his visit to Florida in 1774.
The Society also participates in a number of other organized Bartram-themed events that are hosted by the various Counties along the Bartram Trail. Members also meet to develop and maintain the Trail, and to lead recreational events including group paddling, biking, and hiking tours on the Trail.
The Bartram Trail Society of Florida is non-profit organization formed for the purpose of preserving, promoting and enjoying Florida’s Bartram heritage. The Society preserves the Bartram heritage by sharing and displaying the art and publications of William Bartram and by commemorating his passage through Florida during his historic travels through the southeastern United States.
The Society promotes Florida’s Bartram Heritage by developing hiking, biking, driving and paddling trails within the corridor that encompasses the routes traveled by John and William Bartram in 1765-6 and of William in 1774 route through the State in 1774.
The Society enjoys Florida’s Bartram Heritage by sharing the Bartram story with its members, civic groups, and the public by sponsoring and organizing Bartram events, such as the annual St. Johns River Folic, by conducting tours along Florida’s segment of the National Bartram Trail and by staffing informational displays at environmental and historical public events.
The Society, through its members, also creates, develops, and maintains the Bartram Trail. The Society promotes it trail use by developing maps, informational brochures and its official website to enhance the Bartram experience for anyone wishing to follow in the wake and footsteps of America’s first native-born Artist/Naturalist.
The Society’s website is currently being revised. There is a deep well of information about Putnam and Volusia counties which will be addressed first. Similar trails/resources are being developed in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, and Alachua counties.
The Bartram Trail Society of Florida is an affiliate of the Bartram Trail Conference and is working with the Conference to expand and develop the Bartram Trail throughout the Southeastern United States.