We had a iffy day, supposed to be cloudy but no rain, we got cloudy and rain, we had decided to drive to Highland Hammock State Park, the first state park in Florida. It is a beautiful park with lots of hiking trails that are easy accessible through lots of Fona and Flora.
Local citizens, concerned about plans to turn the hammock into farmland, acquired the property in 1931 and promoted it as a candidate for national park status, an early example of grass-roots public support for environmental preservation. One of the prime movers behind the effort was Mrs. Margaret Roebling, daughter-in-law of Washington Augustus Roebling.
Though it never reached national park status, it became one of the four original Florida State Parks when the state park system was created in 1935. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established during the Great Depression, built a camp at Highlands Hammock as a headquarters, and developed additional park facilities and the beginnings of a botanical garden.
Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum
The park features the Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum with interactive exhibits about the 1930-1940s period of the park's construction, and the history of the CCC in Florida and the United States. The museum is located in a building constructed by the CCC.
Elevated boardwalks meander through an old-growth bald cypress swamp with Cabbage Palmettos, ferns, bromeliads, orchids and other epiphytes. Some trees are believed to be over a thousand years old, and one is possibly the largest oak in Florida, with a girth of over 36 feet
White-tailed deer, American Alligators, gopher tortoises, frogs, otters, golden silk spiders, Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Barred Owls and Florida Scrub Jays are common in the park. Florida Black Bears, Bald Eagles, White Ibis, Gray Squirrels, Bobcats and the rare Florida panther are seen on occasion.