Highlands Hammock State Park

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, January 7, 2010

Today we drove to Sebring, about 3 hours south of where we are staying, to visit Highlands Hammock State Park.  Development of this and seven other Florida parks was accomplished using the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs.  Florida's economy was devastated due to the Great Depression, the collapse of the land boom and 2 major hurricanes during the 1920s and the CCC worked there for 9 years, fighting fires, planting 18 million trees, constructing 3,600 miles of trails and roads, building  2,736 bridges and 8 parks.

CCC members were comprised of single men ages 17-25; they were paid $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to their families.

We took several walking tours through the park; this was as enjoyable as the CCC museum.  One on an elevated boardwalk through a cypress swamp; the black water flowes very slowly but runs constantly.  There are lots of bald cypress and palm trees; lilly pads float on the water.  Another trail took us through a wild orange grove; we tried picking some oranges but they were too high in the trees.  The last trail took us to the largest, oldest Live Oak in the park -- 36 foot circumfrance and 1000 years old.  It is very knarled but georgeous in its own way.  Glenn tried to find a woodpecker we could hear but never could find it.

We went back to a grove of orange and tanergine trees which appeared to have been planted and Glenn finally was able to get a couple for us.

We had a very nice but long day.
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