Bowing to a bloodline of adventure that includes explorer Henry Hudson and Lappi reindeer herders, Sandra Friend walked away from a career in software design in the 1990s and headed to the woods. After getting her feet wet with outdoor writing in the mid-Atlantic and traveling backpacker-style across Greece, India, and Nepal with her sister, she carved out a niche with Florida hiking. After publication of her first five hiking books, she spent five years as Communications Director for the Florida Trail Association. With more than 3,000 miles logged on Florida’s trails and a growing stack of publication credits, she’s working on her 27th book.
An avid outdoors enthusiast with a background in information systems and human-computer interaction, Sandra is known beyond her books for keeping up with the cutting edge of online communications, including rapid development of apps and websites. She owns and manages the popular hiking website Florida Hikes.
Currently the chair of the Freelance Council of the Society of American Travel Writers and a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Florida State Parks, Sandra has also served in many volunteer advisory roles over the years, among them director of the SATW Institute for Travel Writing & Photography , board member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, and as a long-time volunteer on the VISIT FLORIDA nature-based tourism committee.