OKEECHOBEE, FL. -- The 27th Annual Cross State Horseback and Wagon Ride: This cross travels through Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties beginning Saturday, February 15 and ending Friday, February 21.
The Annual Cross-State Ride is a re-enactment of the return trip from Bradenton on the west coast back to Fort Pierce on the east coast after cattle herds were safely on their way to Havana. It commemorates the dedication the Florida Cracker Trail.
Covering approximately 110 miles, the Cross State Ride begins just east of Bradenton, Florida on the third Saturday of February and ends with a parade through Fort Pierce on the following Saturday. Riders and horses travel about 20 miles each day, some days less, some days more, in the saddle 5-8 hours, with mid-morning and mid-afternoon water breaks.
A break for lunch around noon each day allows time for riders to be transported by bus back to their rigs so they can move them to that night's camp.
Law enforcement officers will accompany riders, horses and horse-drawn wagons as they travel in these counties during daylight hours.
Motorists should use caution, plan extra time, and respectfully share the road with participants on the roadways listed below:
· Manatee County: SR 64
· Hardee County: SR 64, Steve Roberts Special, Parnell Road, SR 66
· Highlands County: SR 66, US 98
· Okeechobee County: US 98, CR 68, US 441
· St Lucie County/Ft. Pierce: Kings Highway
For more information about this annual event, visit www.crackertrail.org .