Lining up for a Night Ride at Citrus Wildlife Management Area.

Coursing through Florida’s off-road trails, surrounded by Mother Nature’s bounty and the adventure of the trails has turned many simply intrigued by the thought of off-roading into full-blown off-road enthusiasts.

Whether you’ve been driving your rig for years or are a newbie who would like to ride the Florida off-road trails, you can quench that thirst for adventure with Florida Trail Stompers.

Florida Trail Stompers (FTS) is one of the leading off-road Jeep club in Florida. Unlike other Jeep clubs, FTS welcomes any and all Off-Road enthusiasts. It doesn’t matter if you own a custom modified Jeep, a stock SUV, a 2WD pickup truck or any type 4WD full size vehicle, you are welcome to tag along on their rides and explore Florida in a completely new light.

Florida Trail Stompers Founder Brian Dery and stepson Caleb at Citrus Wildlife Management Area. Brian said “This is when he decides to create the club that is now known as, Florida Trail Stompers.”

It all Began as a Hobby…

The founder Brian Dery in collaboration with others and his two son’s, who had the same level of passion for off-roading created the club to welcome anyone who loves off-roading. It was just a way for the founder to indulge in his hobby and scratch the itch for adventure on the weekends.

The founder’s vision was to pave the path for a drama-free, inclusive club. A club that would be a source of knowledge, expertise, and community for all off-roaders and not just Jeep owners. Since the club’s founding in 2017, the club has grown into a strong family oriented club where newbies and pros all nurture their passion for off-roading.

As Don Cox puts it:

“For me FTS is an inspiration… FTS inspires me to be a knowledgeable, ethical, and safety conscience off-roader as well as a positive role model and educator/mentor to others. In FTS the influences are all around us, to be part of FTS is very rewarding.”

Florida Trail Stompers first out of State “Stomp The Rock” event to Windrock TN. Stopped at the Nemo Bridge and Abandoned Train Tunnels in TN.

Every Ride a Training Opportunity

The club holds and attends at least six events in a month, which includes rides along various Florida off-road trails. Members and non-members are all welcome to join the rides and get the first-hand experience of the off-road lifestyle. Florida Trail Stompers takes each ride is an opportunity to teach and learn, which often ends up converting a few interested non-members into full-blown enthusiasts. 

Stomp the Rock

The club also goes on an annual ride they call Stomp the Rock, which for two years has been held at Windrock Park, Oliver Springs Tennessee.  Starting in 2021 Stomp the Rock will be held at different locations. Contact us to find out how to join us at Stomp the Rock 2021 Moab, Utah.  For more information about events “Click Here”

Florida Trail Stompers first time at Richloam Wildlife Management Area. They had plenty of recovery training that trip.

The group is incredibly supportive of its riders and their passion for the trails. From strong family-centric values that encourage the members to be of assistance to one another to enforcing proper ride protocols, FTS makes sure that people have a good time and enjoy the thrill off-roading provides.

The Pre-Ride Brief

Before any ride commences, the Trail Bosses conducts a 10-minute briefing session. If you were part of the group, you would learn who the trail leaders or Trail Boss Team are, FTS protocols and Trail Stompin’ Etiquettes, and the procedures regarding disconnecting your sway bar and airing down your tires.

Florida Trail Stompers holding one of their Safety and Recovery classes in the Citrus Wildlife Management Area.

What are Trail Bosses you ask?

Well, back in the day when there were cattle drives, there would be one rider ahead of the others, leading the ride and making sure they got to their destination. These responsible cowboys were called Trail Bosses.

FTS’s Trail Boss team is the same, making sure every rider is being safe and gets help if they get stuck. FTS has given the last Trail Boss inline a nickname of tail gunner, making sure no-one gets left behind.

“CLICK HERE”  to meet the “Trail Bosses”

What About the Trail Stompin’ Etiquettes?

A document consisting of 5 points, the Trail Stompin’ Etiquettes are basically a set of protocols all riders have to follow. It determines the ride’s Leadership Team, the necessity of communication devices, what to do and not do when on the trails, how to handle mud patches, and even the protocol around bathroom breaks.

The key goal of these Trail Stompin’ Etiquettes – besides rider safety – is the consideration for the trails. The club emphasizes its no-littering rule and encourages members to pick up after themselves.

The club’s focus on trail maintenance and conservation goes beyond the etiquettes. They conduct cleanup rides now and then, where they often work in tandem with other local Jeep clubs or the Forestry Service to preserve trails.

For instance, FTS got together with 18 other off-roading clubs in Florida to help widen and preserve the new Badge of Honor trail in the Ocala National Forest.

Florida Trail Stompers and 18 other clubs doing trail cleanup and maintenance in Ocala National Forest

A True Community-Centric Club

Many off-roading clubs support specific causes or community events within their locality, which is quite honorable. FTS stands out from the rest as they aim to help anyone and any non-profit organization they can.

Whether it’s a fundraising event, a raffle, charity, parade participation, donations to Forestry Service, etc. the club is always at the forefront to lend a helping hand.

This is also the reason why it supports many local off-roading clubs such as Jeep Latino Tampa Bay, Motley Jeep Crew, Orlando Jeep Club, Rum Runners Jeep Club, Ocala Jeep Club, The Florida Jeep Coalition, and Tampa Jeep Krewe.

There are many small things about the Florida Trail Stompers that make the club special and one of a kind in its league. Their strong focus on creating family values and experiencing the excitement of off-roading while leaving nature as they find it are all strong points in their favor.

The next time you’re around Wesley Chapel, which is a short drive north of Tampa, witness the liveliness and strong off-roading community FTS has managed to sustain. You can check out their events on the club’s website or Facebook page.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article, all true. We’ve been with FTS since their first posts on social media and have enjoyed riding trails and meeting some new folks we’re proud to call friends now. Brian runs a tight ship (must be the Navy in him LOL) and doesn’t allow posts that ridicule or belittle anyone based on their beliefs or experience level. Thanks for the article and Stomp On!

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