Where to Hike, Bike, Camp & More in Highlands County
Made up of Sebring, Avon Park, and Lake Placid, Highlands County is a legendary destination amongst racing enthusiasts as it is home to the famed Sebring International Raceway. However, there’s so much more to this slice of old Florida than meets the eye.
For one, Highlands County’s Highlands Hammock State Park is one of Florida’s oldest state parks. And the destination’s location in Central Florida, just northwest of Lake Okeechobee means it’s prime with scenic nature trails, challenging biking trails, and starlit campgrounds. So, if you’re planning your next road trip to see more of the sunshine state’s untouched beauty, check out this guide on where to hike, bike, camp, and more in Highlands County.
When it comes to hiking, Highlands Hammock State Park is a one-stop-shop. With nine hiking and walking trails, many of which are connected by a bridge or catwalk to create an epic trail system, this Florida staple makes it easy to fill your ecotourism itinerary with a big helping of adventure. Here are our favorite trails for your next visit:
Ancient Hammock Trail
At just over half a mile, Ancient Hammock Trail loops through thousand-year-old live oaks and towering cabbage palms. It is easily one of the most breathtaking swatches of preserved land in the entire state.
Explore Florida’s swamp life from your perch on an old-time catwalk at the Cypress Boardwalk trail. This trail is a mixture of idyllic scenery and thrill-seeking as you’ll begin on a broad boardwalk but quickly reach a narrow wooden walkway with a single rail just a couple of feet over the creek’s dark waters.
Cruising or climbing, Highlands County’s biking trails let you choose the speed of your next cycling venture. Get in a workout on a 12-mile, off-road excursion, and watch for rare birds while pedaling on paved trails, or do a little bit of everything during your stay.
Sun ‘N Lake Preserve Trail
On over 1,300 acres of wildlife preserve, the Sun ‘N Lake trail is open to adventurists on foot and two wheels. Clocking in at 12 miles, this trail’s challenging runs are ideal for those looking for thrills on their mountain bike.
Highlands Hammock State Park
Although bikes are not allowed on the state park’s nature trails, there are two bicycle trails within the park’s grounds. A three-mile paved loop offers a leisurely way to experience the flora and fauna, while a six-mile, off-road trail is sure to be a treat for mountain bikers looking for a thrill.
Sebring and its surrounding cities are home to both primitive campsites and RV resorts to fit your traveling style. Whether you’re after a night under the stars or looking for extra amenities, here’s where to stay in Highlands County:
Highlands Hammock State Park
With water and electric hookups, as well as restrooms, laundry facilities, and dishwashing areas, Highlands Hammock State Park’s campgrounds let you get away from it all while still enjoying creature comforts. Campsites are also equipped with fire rings and picnic tables to make your stay even more cozy and comfortable. If you’d rather go for a primitive camping experience, the park’s got you covered too with campsites able to accommodate up to 25 campers.
Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid each boast an impressive selection of RV campgrounds if your traveling style doesn’t involve tents. From Bonnet Lake Campgrounds’ water views and proximity to historic downtown Sebring to Camp Florida Resort’s lake access and affordable rates, you’re sure to find the perfect place to park and stay.
Whether you’re searching for the adrenaline-pumping thrills of mountain biking or a slow-paced stroll through some of Florida’s oldest and most biodiverse environments, Highlands County has something for every nature buff. Day trip or weeklong getaway, start planning your next adventure today.
Look through our other travel-related blogs for more exciting adventures in ecotourism under the beautiful Florida sun!