I talked to a park manager today about the Florida issue and here is the gist of what he said:
- Call the park ahead of time to try to get permission
- Mention early and often that you will be using "tree saver" straps that prevent damage to the tree
- As politely as possible make sure that the word gets passed down the chain to the campground to let them know that you will be coming out and safely hanging a hammock in a way that does zero damage to the trees
- Be polite and helpful and make sure that you don't end up creating a conflict of any kind (it's better to not provoke another camper to anger that could then say that you are hanging from a tree which is against the rules... they won't have much choice but to force you to take your hammock down)
He said it will really be up to the individual park manager but the main thing to stress no matter who you talk to is "tree savers" (aka straps) that will prevent damage to the trees. He said that he doesn't have a problem with people hanging hammocks (it sounds like he uses a hammock sometimes too) and that his people know that it is ok or will call him and as long as people are using "tree savers" he will give it his blessing.
Best of luck to all who try going to state parks... I still vote for using state and national forests, but I'm biased (I manage a state forest )
P.S. A little bird says that Lake Kissimmee state park is as hammock friendly as is possible under the current laws.