SEBRING — Fall made a stormy arrival at Highlands Hammock State Park with Hurricane Ian in late September followed by a second storm, Nicole, in early November. The park is now fully open with the exception of the park recreation hall, which sustained major roof damage. Visitors can enjoy hiking the trails and biking the Loop Road. They are advised to carry insect repellent and watch their step on the trails as muddy areas d the park is now fully open. The 36th Annual Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Festival will be held on February 11, 2023.
Park visitors are cordially invited to celebrate Thanksgiving at the park. Runners will be flocking to the park for the 30th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run / Walk on Thursday morning, Nov. 24. This event is open to all runners from 8 years and younger to age 75 and older. Trophies go to age group winners. Race entry forms are available at the Ranger Station and the Hammock Inn Camp Store. Registrations are accepted on race day prior to the 8 a.m. start time and the entry fee is now $30. According to Park Services Specialist, Carla Sherwin, “This is a Thanksgiving tradition not to be missed….filled with fun, camaraderie, spirited competition and a chance to earn that extra piece of pie at the holiday feast!”
On Saturday, Nov. 26, Paisley Craze will launch the Music in the Park concert series with their 1960s and ‘70s anthology of music featuring the British invasion, the Beach Boys, Motown, Stax, and West Coast Rock! Concertgoers can take a trip back in time by listening to hits by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens and many more great artists who defined the Woodstock Generation. Paisley Craze, a five-member group based on Florida’s West Coast, has toured the country from Memphis, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas. Learn more about the band at their website Paisleycraze.com. Sherwin remarked, “For Heartland residents with visiting family and friends through the holiday, this concert is sure to provide some welcome entertainment.” American roots and blues musician, Ben Prestage, is scheduled for the second concert on Dec. 11. Concerts run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $10 per adult. Children 12 years old and younger accompanied by a paying adult are free. Park entry fees of $6 per vehicle with up to 8 people, are waived after 6 p.m. on concert nights.
Bring blankets, lawn chairs and flashlights and enjoy an evening of music under the stars. Pets are not permitted, so please no dogs! Food and beverages are provided by food trucks and the Hammock Inn Camp Store. Music in the Park concerts are sponsored and hosted by the Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park. All proceeds benefit park improvements. Find the Friends on Facebook and visit their new website www.friendsofhighlandshammockstatepark.org. Highlands Hammock is located at 5931 Hammock Road in Sebring.