SEBRING - Highlands Hammock State Park's tram tours have resumed for the fall/winter season and are now being offered regularly.
The tour is a guided, narrated tour of the park, providing interpretation of nature and history. Visitors have the opportunity to view birds, alligators and other wildlife relatively close-up in areas of the park that are restricted to public access.
The tram leaves from the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, runs along Loop Road under a densely shaded canopy of hydric hammock, passes through cypress swamp and continues through pine flatwoods. For the "grand finale," the tram travels slowly down South Canal where alligators, turtles, water birds such as herons, ibis and egrets, and an occasional otter or water moccasin may be observed.
The tram is scheduled to run at 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. A 2:30 p.m. tram will be offered immediately following the 1 p.m. tour on these days, if required, to meet visitor demand.
During the busy winter season, a third tram may be offered at 11 a.m. Weekend trams will be offered at 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The tram does not run on Mondays.
Tickets may be purchased at the Ranger Station and are sold only on the day of the tour. They are $5 per adult and $3 for children between the ages of six and 12 years old.
Children five and younger are admitted free. The park entry fee is $6 per vehicle (up to eight people), $4 for one adult or an adult with children under six years old, and $2 for visitors on bicycles or foot.
During the busy snowbird season from January through March, visitors are advised to purchase tickets early in the morning to ensure seats, as trams tend to sell out quickly.
The Ranger Station opens for business at 8 a.m. Special trams may also be booked in advance for larger groups or organizations for $74.90, tax included. Reservations and payment are made through the Ranger Station.