Article by Warren Resen –photos by Forever Florida

St. Cloud, FL:  Patrick Smith Day, everyone’s favorite event at FOREVER FLORIDA, will take place over two days this year with the addition of many new and exciting events.
The weekend of November 7 & 8, 2014 will feature trail rides, photography sessions, tours of the 4,700 acre ranch and preserve, guest speakers, expanded meal service at the Cypress Lodge, and exciting treetop rides through the woods.
The homage to Patrick Smith, who left us in January of this year, will be done by his son Patrick (Rick) Smith Jr. through his award winning multi-media presentation of the life and works of his father, highlighting a man who is unarguably Florida’s favorite author.
Events will begin on Friday, November 7th with an afternoon and evening  Photography Workshop. Coach transportation to selected locations around FOREVER FLORIDA, overnight accommodations at Camp Illahaw and meals will be available for participants of the photography sessions. The photography workshop will continue the following morning.

Trail rides at Forever Florida

On Saturday, November 8th, a 3-hour “Bring Your Own Horse Trail Ride” will take place starting at 8 AM.  It will feature a guided tour through the swamps, sloughs and creeks of FOREVER FLORIDA.
At 9 AM  & 3 PM “A Land Remembered” open coach bus tours will take participants through some of the 4,700 acres of ranch and nature preserve.  It will be leaving from the Visitor’s Center where tickets can be purchased.

Trail rides at Forever Florida

The weekend’s highlight event, Remembering Patrick Smith will begin at 11:30 AM in the Visitor’s Center. Rick Smith will take viewers on a tour of his famous father’s life and writings. Signed copies of Patrick’s books will be available for sale. Rick’s presentation will be augmented by several speakers who were friends of Patrick Smith and will add their personal insights to this famous man’s life.
A BBQ lunch will be available in the Cypress Restaurant Starting a 1 PM after which speakers will give presentations on Florida’s Environment, the Florida Cracker Horse, and Digital Printing a subject of interest to many today. The day’s program ends with entertainment by Ben Dehart better known as “The Cracker Tenor.”
FOREVER FLORIDA was established as the Allen Broussard Conservancy to preserve a piece of old Florida by Dr William Broussard, a 5th generation Floridian, and his wife Margaret as a living monument to their late son, a devoted ecologist.  Funds raised by attractions, tours, and events keep FOREVER FLORIDA operating.  It receives no government funding.
Exciting news at FOREVER FLORIDA is the addition of six new zipline and thrill ride adventures now open to the public. It has warranted adding a new name to describe the facility, Forever Florida – Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild.

Rattlesnake zipline rollercoaster at Forever Florida.

Rides include the Peregrine Plunge zipline.  Nearly the length of two football fields, this has the longest single straightaway of any zipline in Florida.

Riders can hit speeds of up to 30 mph on their way to the finish. Shorter ziplines are also available.
On the Rattlesnake (rollercoaster ride), riders hang from a cable. It is the only zipline roller coaster in the USA.  A controlled 68-foot fall, which has been called harrowing, is the feature of Panther Pounce.  An extreme 55-foot free-fall swing from the Swooping Crane is a crowd pleaser or bike through the tree tops on a steel cable 25 feet above ground on the Cypress Canopy Cycle, the only one of its kind in the USA.

Margaret, Dr.William Broussard and Patrick Smith signing books at a previous Patrick Smith Day.

These two days at FOREVER FLORIDA are crammed full of activities. To find information, availability and prices about the one(s) of most interest to you, go to: or call (407) 957-9794.
For your GPS directions – FOREVER FLORIDA is at 4755 N. Kenansville Rd., St. Cloud, Florida 34773 between Yeehaw Junction and Orlando.

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