Florida Back Roads: The Florida Cracker Trail

Traveling the Florida  Cracker Trail.

The Florida Cracker  Trail runs from just east of Bradenton, and ends in Fort Pierce. The total distance of approximately 120 miles.

The Florida Cracker Trail was selected as a Community Millennium Trail on November 20, 2000. The Millennium Trails is a partnership among the White House Millennium Council,  the Department of Transportation, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the National Endowment for the Arts and other public agencies and private organizations. The goal of Millennium Trails is the creation of a nationwide network of trails that protect natural environment, interpret history and culture, and enhance alternative transportation, recreation and tourism.

Annual Cracker Trail Ride

An annual Cracker Trail ride is  held the last full week in February of each year. The ride begins at a site just east of Bradenton, Florida, and ends with a parade through downtown Ft. Pierce, Florida, a total of approximately 120 miles (190 km). Each day’s ride is approximately 15 to 20 miles in length. The purpose of the ride is to draw attention to Florida’s horse and cattle heritage.

Towards the middle of February each year, members of the Florida Cracker Trail Association begin their annual cross-state trail ride, beginning on the state’s West Coast and ultimately ending on the east coast.

By conducting this annual cross-state horseback ride  participants preserve Florida’s cattle and horse heritage. The riders are passionate with their endeavor in keeping history alive as they make the trip which spans over a six day period. These riders focus on commemorating, not only the Florida “Crackers”, but also the country’s first cowboys. They became known as crackers for the whip cracking as they rounded up and drove cattle across the state, which ultimately concluded at markets in Cuba and elsewhere, via shipping ports throughout the state.

Cracker Trail Museum

Here is a link to a post I wrote about another part of the Trail.

You can drive the entire route or just portions. Along the way there are many fun stops and places to picnic.

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