Located in the Central Travel Region of Florida, Highlands Hammock State Park is worth touring. The varied habitats are a prime example of a gorgeous, healthy ecosystem. Wildlife also enjoys this park and seems relatively undisturbed by tourists.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Highlands Hammock State Park
There is a wonderful 11-mile horse trail located in the northern section of the park. Trailer parking is available. The trail travels a westward route crossing Little Charlie Bowlegs Creek and County Road 634 several times.
Eight miles of off-road biking explore the northern area of the park as well. The bike path joins the park loop road for several miles. You may bring your own bike or rent one from the park office.
Trails at Highlands Hammock get a lot of use. Ancient virgin woods, marshes and swamps are explored. One of the most popular trails is the Cypress Swamp Trail. It is located in the western area of the park off the park loop road. This high-traffic route is handicapped accessible because the entire path is a 2,500-foot boardwalk. Be sure to take your camera on this walk. It is probably one of the most beautiful swamp habitats you're likely to see. Ancient twisted trees are draped with Spanish moss, palmettos reach for the sky to heights rarely seen, and bald cypress ordain a quiet throughout the tea-stained reflective water. Birds happily chirp overhead while alligators lie still in the dark crevices. A sense of mystique falls over the forest. This is where the seldom-seen Florida panther comes to drink while the tame deer grope the forest floor undisturbed by human presence.
Other trails in the park are heavily traveled as well. Many intertwine, expanding the average 0.5-mile designation. The best trail for viewing birdlife is the Fern Garden Trail. It may be accessed from the first parking lots on both the right and left side of the park loop road.
A concession area and picnic grove adds to the enjoyment of this park. Be sure to visit the museum that tells the history of the park and the wonderful works completed by the depression-era Civilian Conservation Corp. Camping facilities are available for groups up to 30 people and individual sites totaling 154. Visitors are also treated to ranger-led tram rides that travel to remote areas of the 8,140-acre park.
Directions from Sebring, FL: Travel west along County Route 634 for 4 miles to reach the park entrance. After entering the park, continue straight to reach the park loop road. Trailheads are located all along the park loop road.