Management & Protection
Florida State Parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Hunting, livestock grazing and timber removal are not permitted. Do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural resources. For your safety, do not feed any animals. Intoxicants and firearms are prohibited.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.

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Webster's defines hammock as "a fertile area in the southern U.S. and especially Florida, that is usually higher than its surroundings and that is characterized by hardwood vegetation and deep humus-rich soil." True enough. But visitors to Highlands Hammock State Park know exactly what it means -- "Beautiful!."

This 4,896-acre park opened to the public in 1931 and is one of the earliest examples of grass-roots public support for environmental preservation. Local citizens, concerned about plans to turn the hammock into farmland, acquired the property and pledged to protect it. When Florida's state park system was established in 1935, Highlands Hammock became one of four original state parks, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built a camp there as a base for development. The history of the CCC in Florida State Parks is illustrated in an accessible museum.

The park still preserves a scenic, virgin hardwood forest. Its boundaries encompass several additional plant communities, including a cypress swamp, pine flatwoods, sand pine scrub, scrubby flatwoods, bayheads and marsh.

The sharp-eyed wildlife observer can catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer and alligators almost every day from one of nine nature trails. Three of these trails are ramped boardwalks bordering cypress swamps and hardwood forest. The other six trails are packed dirt that meander through all of the plant communities found in Highlands Hammock State Park. Otters and Florida scrub jays also make frequent appearances, while bears and the rare Florida panther are seen on occasion.


A ranger-led tram tour gives visitors a chance to see wildlife in remote areas of the park. Winter and summer schedules are available at the ranger station. There is a minimum of five people per tour. Rangers also give guided walks and campfire programs according to seasonal demand. For the birder, a checklist of birds is available at the ranger station. Other publications are on hand for those who want to learn more about state parks. A day-use horseback-riding trail is available for those wishing to ride their own horses. Contact the park to make reservations. Proof of a recent negative Coggins test is required.

A paved loop drive through the hammock offers nature study and is ideal for cyclists as bicycles are not permitted on the nature trails. Rentals are available at the ranger station.

Areas designated for picnicking are located throughout the park. Several tables are designed for wheelchair use.

A full service concession is operated for the visitors convenience.  The Hammock Inn offers food, souvenirs, camping supplies and rental canoes.  

Highlands Hammock State Park is located on S.R. 634, four miles west of Sebring.

For more information on the park, write to:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring, FL 33872
or call (863) 386-6094
e-mail the park at

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