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  1. #1

    Planning: Highlands Hammock State Park, Florida

    Planning a trip to Florida in February. Has anyone stayed overnight there and know if you can hang hammocks there? You'd think with a name like that... Contemplating about a 24 hour bike race in Sebring there, and need a cheap place to sleep.

  2. #2
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I've not stayed there. However, Florida state parks just started a trial period for hammocks to be allowed in the park. Call ahead to the park manager and find out about their arrangements at the park (note that you will need tree straps for your tarp as well as your hammock); if they've not heard about this yet, point them at Mr. Madden (mentioned in the first post of the thread I linked above) to find out!

    I hope your trip goes well!

  3. #3
    Thank you. Tree straps for my tarp, had not thought of that, good idea I think. I'll look into ordering a set. Sounds like hanging would be possible, so that's one hurdle down. Thanks! Should be a nice stay, from what I've read on the state parks website. Looks like a lot of old growth forest there. Can you call it a forest there? Being from Oregon, forests look a bit different here.

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    We have palm forests! Well, technically, palms are a grass. So I guess we have tall grasslands with coconuts on top
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    We have palm forests! Well, technically, palms are a grass. So I guess we have tall grasslands with coconuts on top
    ROFL!

    So that begs the question... Can you see the forest through the grass?

  6. #6
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesnyderces View Post
    Thank you. Tree straps for my tarp, had not thought of that, good idea I think. I'll look into ordering a set. Sounds like hanging would be possible, so that's one hurdle down. Thanks! Should be a nice stay, from what I've read on the state parks website. Looks like a lot of old growth forest there. Can you call it a forest there? Being from Oregon, forests look a bit different here.
    Considering that they're calling it an "hammock", it's probably a hardwood forest with (relatively) little undergrowth. You get four main kinds of forest here in FL, at least in my experience: hardwood hammock areas with relatively little undergrowth, mixed hardwood and pine forests with quite a bit of undergrowth (including small trees like scrub oak), longleaf pine areas that have virtually no shade and quite a bit of chest-high undergrowth (usually palmettos), and swampy bottomland that is either very clear due to the sunlight being choked off or extremely jungle-like due to the amount of water.

    In any given area, there are two major factors contributing to this: the amount of water (elevation; as little as five feet makes a major difference, considering how close the water table is to the surface most places down here) and how often the forest burns (many places near human habitation used to be longleaf pine forests, but the lack of wildfires has allowed other intrusive species to begin choking out the pines).

    Usually--especially at state parks--they'll have little placards and signs all over the place describing the local flora and fauna. They're at trail heads and placed alongside the well-maintained trails, and they're usually worth reading.

    Hope it helps!

  7. #7
    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    HHSP is a really neat place. I went to second grade close by in Avon Park where my dad grew up. I've never hung there though It was were all the family reunions took place along with several buckets of KFC. Def. do the boardwalk 'hike' through the swamp. Its beautiful. Lots of CCC history there too and a neat little museum. I think its around 7 miles to Sebring from there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member samsara's Avatar
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    HH is a nice park and definitely do the boardwalk like MM suggested. They have hardwood hammock, pine flatwoods, and swamp (no clue what they have at the campground but I would guess a mix of hardwoods and pines). Since your date is far away there is a decent chance that someone will hang there before you go but to be safe make sure to look at the link that FLRider gave you and contact the gentleman in the letter.

    I will probably see someone from the park in the next few months and I'll mention the hammock thing to them just to break the ice. I know I mentioned it to the park manager at Lake Louisa and he had heard about the hammock trial.

    I started a thread for FL state park trip reports but nobody seemed interested in posting. I thought it would be nice to hear what parks are best for hanging.

    Dave
    The best things in life aren't things. -- Art Buchwald

    The Florida Hangers Facebook page

  9. #9
    Thanks guys for the input, looks like it may be doable, within a decent budget, especially if I can hang. Thank you sirs! : ))

  10. #10
    lilricky's Avatar
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    Too bad that you can't come down about a month earlier, we have our Annual Florida Hang on Martin Luther King weekend in January each year. One of the largest (if not THE largest) gathering of hangers in the world. Its held at Buck Lake Group Use Area in the Ocala National Forest.
    Maintainer of the Unofficial Trail GPS Map Page(Updated 3-9-15) Now updated with Florida Trail, Lone Star Hiking Trail, Arizona Trail, and the Appalachian Trail.

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