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Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring

(500+ reviews on the web)
State Park
Amble along an elevated walkway amidst an old-growth cypress swamp at Highlands Hammock State Park, one of Florida's oldest parks. Follow the Ancient Hammock trail to see an oak tree that is over 1,000 years old (possibly the oldest tree in the state). At the Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum you'll see interactive exhibits on the park’s construction. You can ride a bike along the trails or hike near dusk to see some deer. Along the swamp trail, watch for toads and turtles near the dark black water. You can also take advantage of the campground, basketball court, playground, and fire pits. Be sure to bring bug spray. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Highlands Hammock State Park by using our Sebring vacation trip planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Worth the drive from Punta Gorda. We drove in the back way and were mesmerized by the canopy of trees--we knew we were in for a treat. We did the majority of the trails; saw armadillos, birds, lizards...  more »
  • Pleasant for an afternoon's walk. We did see an alligator in the mud and it was interesting looking at the flora and fauna.  more »
  • Very nice kept park. They have quite a few hiking trails which are mostly in the shade. The day we went it was pretty humid. We will definitely go back in the fall. They have a nice little museum and ...  more »
Google
  • This place gets a 4. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. My camp site was also nice. As mentioned in other reviews, the Wilderness Sites are close to a road that strangely has cars almost all night. I'd recommend ear plugs or camp elsewhere. Most of the trails are great, thought it is "rough" in some spots. And the railing on one of the swamp sections is low and you need to had good balance. I used the showers and it was very warm, but I was likely the first up. The park rangers were nice and helpful. I would definitely come again.
  • First time visit and would definitely return again if in the area. We visited the two small museums on site. Tons of information and wonderful displays. They're was a small scavenger hunt for the kids to fill out. The rangers are happy to talk with you and shared surprising facts. Also enjoyed a boardwalk trail. We saw lots of wildlife.
  • I had no idea this was the oldest State Park in Florida! The old CCC museum was very interesting - truly fascinating to see how many of the state parks were built. We thoroughly enjoyed the well-maintained trails, saw magnificent old oak trees as well as all sorts of beautiful foliage and animals, including quite a few wild hogs. We saw a great outdoor concert (highly recommend their concert series).. Bikes are highly recommended, I although we didn't bring ours this time. The campground is popular, and well-used, so be prepared for a good bit of "dirty sand". Furthermore, some of the interior campsites appeared to be a bit crowded, with little or no vegetation separating sites. But we were on the outside ring (100-series), and I would recommend you get one of these, if possible.. The tram ride was fun, informative, and well worth the $5 fee, particularly if you are from out of state, and enjoy seeing alligators and turtles (sit on the left side of the tram if you can). We'll be back!
  • Great campground, but if you are having a burn ban you really should make it known. Not wait till we are checked in, firewood unloaded, and fire burning to come around and tell us we have to put it out. Bottom mention the 4-5 rangers that drove around and never said a word. I have a hose right next to the Fire pit and have already wet down the surrounding area. I know it is dry.
  • This is a neat park with some great trails and scenery but it could be better with a little attention to details. First off, we (my wife, myself and our two boys, 2 and 7) really enjoyed our visit to HHSP. The boys wanted to see alligators and we were able to view them up close from two different boardwalk trails. The trails were fairly well maintained and it was always clear how to follow them along the way. I would advise keeping young kids (under 5) close on the trails as some of the boardwalks lack railings on both sides. Now, for the other comments. When we arrived at the park we waited behind a couple of other cars as they paid the entry fee. It seemed to take a bit and we were confused on why until we got to the front. The entry fee used to be $6.00 but (per the attendant) a tax was added so it was now $6.07 (or something similar). Seriously? Adjust your fee so the total with tax is $6.00. We were also given two maps. We drove on a bit and pulled into the visitors center area (not shown on one of the maps). My wife and I both looked at the maps and had trouble working out where we were and where we needed to head. Perhaps we were weary but these maps seemed pretty poor. I am currently looking at a map online and after having visited I can see where we went but there are several things shown that aren't helpful and some things missing that would be helpful. For instance. when you turn into the circle drive that goes around in front of the visitors center and pavilion area, there is a trail directly across from the circle drive. It is obvious as you pull in but is not on the maps. I asked about it in the visitors center and was told it was a trail to the campground. A trail this well marked and developed should be on the map. My last complaint is with the gentleman in the visitors center. He was behind a desk as I entered and immediately told me to sign the guestbook and turn right to see the exhibits in the center. There was no hello or welcome. I obliged to sign the book and then asked about some of the trails. He seemed confused and then gave me a very fast and difficult to understand explanation of two of the trails. I then asked about a specific trail and he said it was nice. Perhaps I caught him on a bad day but a more welcoming and helpful attendant in the visitors center would be appreciated.