Thursday, June 29, 2017

Camping at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, Florida

Highland Hammocks State Park Sebring, FL
Camping in the Tent
This past October, Nadia and I were able to go camping Halloween Weekend at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, Florida.  Our friends John and Cretia, took us in their RV, but Nadia and I decided to camp outdoors in our tent.  One reason was because we have not had a chance to use the tent since our first camping experience at Collier-Seminole State Park.  (we were spoiled by staying in John and Cretia's RV).  The second reason we decided to stay in the tent, was because Florida was actually having a little cold spell.  I think it may have gone down to the upper 60's, but hey we'll take it.

Tent with lantern Highlands Hammock

When we arrived at Highlands Hammock, it was dark out, but we used the lighting from the RV and our lanterns to get our tent together.  It was not hard to put together, but I was glad that John and Cretia helped us.

Highlands Hammock State Park, is one of Florida oldest parks.  It was opened in 1931!  There are various nature trails to take, biking, tram tours and something I was not expecting.  Black Bears!

Highlands hammock state park

When I found this out, I wanted to re-think the tent idea.  I did not have bear spray on me.  That first night, I woke at every little sound, listening for heavy breathing of a bear.  Thankfully we did not see one, but I did hear little critters walking near the tent throughout the night.  Read about Black Bear Safety.

Bears in Florida

I woke up the next morning before Nadia, and decided to open the zipper to my window in my "room".   We have a three room tent.

tent family fun outdoors

When I looked out my window, I actually saw two deer running away into the woods behind us!  I was pretty excited about that and wished Nadia could have seen them too.  We do not get to see a lot of deer where we live, so it is exciting when we actually get to see them.

Highlands Hammock State Park Florida

After everyone was up and we had breakfast; we got ready to bike ride into town.  I believe it was 9 miles each way.  We ended up going to a small mall and then we ate lunch at a restaurant!  Here we were supposed to be camping LOL.

Bike Riding at Highlands Hammock state park

When we got back to the park, we went to ride our bikes to the various hiking trails.  During the month of October, Highlands Hammock runs a haunted tram ride on select nights.  I wished they had it running that weekend.  It sounded fun!

boardwalk hike at Florida State Parks

There were some interesting trails to hike.  Like always, be aware of your surroundings.  We were not expecting to see this big guy.  Luckily we were on the boardwalk and he was below us.

Gator at Highlands Hammock State Park in Florida

Here's a really swampy area:

Swamp in Sebring Florida

Hiking near swamp at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, FL

Now, check out this boardwalk!  It was pretty narrow with only a handrail on one-side.  It was an interesting adventure.

HIking in Florida

There are a Thousand Year Old Oak Trees found in the park.

Oak Trees in Florida State Parks

In this area, you can actually sit out here and watch the deer come out in the evening.

The Park also has a nice looking Visitor's Center, but we were too late and they were closed.

Florida parks

Florida outdoor fun

We arrived back at the campsite and it was time to start making the hamburgers and hot dogs.

camping fun

I slept a lot better the second night, even though my air mattress got a hole in it 😦

No Air Camping

We really enjoyed this park and I would definitely come back here and camp again.  I just hope the tram will be working then.

You can read more about Highlands Hammock State Park and make sure to read all alerts before you travel.

Happy Summer!
The Sunning Anhinga Wall Tapestry