Highlands Hammock is another hidden gem. You would never know major shopping is just 5 miles away! The best of both worlds. Changing parks on a Sunday (at least coming into this park) is not a good idea. We had to wait for over an hour with 15 other campers for the official checkout time to pass. It was crazy - RVs everywhere, cooling their engines. The rangers kept reminding us check-in did not start until 3, so we were lucky to get in before then! Yikers!
It is hot today & that seems fun at this point. Because of the heat, Maggie is limited to short campground loops which gives us a bit of flexibility in choosing our hiking trails. Edward & I have become fascinated with cypress trees so the Cypress Swamp Trail caught our attention. It is a 30-minute elevated boardwalk through an old growth cypress forest. So breathtakingly primal. Cypress trees & conifers in general dominated the plant world for over 200 million years. That is a long time, folks!
Egrets, anhingas & alligators seemed undisturbed by the passing of humans. Bobcats & panthers (per park literature) are sometimes seen. No such luck today. It was serenely quiet. “A walk back in time, to when the swamp was forming & before man became the logger & subdivider. Only when a special effort is made to restore & preserve, ca we enjoy a hint of the original natural Florida”