Highlands Hammock State Park

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Updated November 24, 2018
Kids at highlands hammock state park

Recently we had the pleasure of staying at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, FL. When I booked our reservations I was told that it’s the oldest state park in Florida. Awesome! We love old stuff. However, I was afraid that the ‘oldest state park’ may in fact be not so awesome. My mind wandered to buildings falling over and not being taken care of. I pictured horrible bathhouses and roads full of potholes! I am SO GLAD that was not the case when we pulled into Highlands Hammock State Park.

We were greeted by smiling, helpful people. We drove to our site (without pothole roads) and we were lucky to get a site on the end of the line. This being an older park, it’s not super condusive to big rigs, but we had no problem with our site. We saw that there were a several other big rigs in there, but the majority of rigs were on the smaller side and honestly, a bit crammed together. 

We had a larger lot and no neighbors on one side since we were the last site on the lane. Our neighbors to the other side were an older couple tent camping for the week so we never felt crowded during our time there.

The views from our site were awesome. We have loved seeing Florida’s different landscapes but this site - and this park - have been one of our very favorites so far. 

Highlands Hammock Backyard

We got the map of the campground and we were so excited to see that there were many hiking trails as well as a bike loop that our kids would love. They also have a Tram tour that we HIGHLY suggest you take.

Kids on tram

The ranger takes you on backroads where you will see lots of alligators as well as many amazing birds and wildlife that you don’t see roaming around the park. If you find a spare hour, you don’t want to miss the tram ride. It is worth the cost at only $5 for adults and $3 for kids.

If you do nothing else at the park, MAKE SURE that you go on the Cypress Swamp Trail.

Highlands Hammock Swamp Me

It was breathtaking! I had no idea that Cypress roots shoot up from the ground like that. It almost looked alien-like. We were the only ones on this trail at the time and it was so awesome to be still and quiet and just look around. You felt like you had stepped back in time. So much water, so many trees, so many plants, so much green, so much beauty.

We enjoyed several hikes in our short time at Highlands Hammock.

Swamp trail

So many huge trees.

Big trees jax ada

So much history.

Big Tree Kids

Did you know that Orange Trees are not native to Florida? I had no idea. We learned so much on the Tram ride and through reading their pamphlets. 

Binocular Kids

We made sure we did the bike loop with the kids (a couple times) and they loved it.

I even went out on my own one morning to go around one more time. It’s times like these that I really wish we had a Go-Pro! 

Bike Ride Highlands Hammock Loop

If you come to this park with your kids - which you totally should - make sure they work on their Florida State Park Junior Ranger Program. Our kids have learned so much and they really enjoy working on these activities at the parks we visit. 

If you are near Sebring, make sure you at least visit Highlands Hammock State Park for the day. If you can camp there...even better. This is a park that you do not want to miss.

Ada binoculars

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Ashley Longnecker

About the Author

Ashley Longnecker is the fiercely independent tattooed and dreaded half of Tiny Shiny Home. She's a woodworker, photographer and maker of delicious baked goods. She loathes schedules and makes every day an adventure.

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Posted January 21, 2016

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