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Thursday, September 14, 2017

5th Annual Hike & Seek Geocaching Event @ Highlands Hammock State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 8:00am to 8:00pm EDT

Park entry fees of $4.00 per single occupant vehicle and $6.00 per vehicle (up to eight people) apply for day visitors.  Park entry fees will be waived for volunteers who participate in the Cache In - Trash Out in conjunction with National Public Lands Day on Sunday, September 24.

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring , FL 33872

A Land Remembered Geocaching Event will begin Saturday morning with registration opening at 8:00 am at the park Recreation Hall. Geocaching will be ongoing throughout the day. Other activities include the Amazing Race, a competitive foot race with as many as ten organized teams consisting of four to five members per team. Amazing Race teams will provide administrative, resource management, and maintenance assistance to the park in addition to other race tasks. The Amazing Race will kick off at 9:00 am and end by 12:00 pm.  Advance registration is required. Meals served in the Recreation Hall include the following: breakfast from 8:30 am to 10:00 am, lunch from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and a dinner beginning at 5:00 pm followed by prize drawings and presentations at 6:00 pm. The purchase of meal tickets is requested by September 16 to better assist planning and food preparation. For registration and more information, visit www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC72MB3_hike-seek-5-0-a-land-remembered?guid=adf54c51-1882-452a-b9cb-3c007ffd536a, and/or contact event chair Ruth Fletcher via email at gcbabyruthie@gmail.com. Cache In -Trash Out (CITO) is scheduled on Sunday morning, September 24 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm in conjunction with the geocaching event and National Public Lands Day. Volunteers will assist with park maintenance projects including painting the Music in the Park stage in the picnic area and the replacement of wooden park railings and campfire circle wooden benches in the Primitive Wilderness Campground. Volunteers will meet in the picnic area in at 8:30 am.  Volunteers are advised to wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing. Bring work gloves, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, cold drinks, and snacks. Please see additional Information for participation requirements and other pertinent information.

Additional Information:

Meal tickets for the geocache event are $5 per serving for breakfast, $5 per serving for lunch and $10 per serving for dinner. Event organizers request that geocache participants purchase meal tickets by September 16, although they will be available the week of and on the day of the event. Please review the following participation requirements by clicking on the link EEC GEOCACHING EVENTS and the link EEC NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY, if participating in the Cache In - Trash Out.  CITO volunteers are advised to wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing. Bring work gloves, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, cold drinks, and snacks.

National Public Lands Day @ Highlands Hammock State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 8:30am to 12:00pm EDT

The regular park entry fees of $4.00 per single occupant vehicle and $6.00 per vehicle (up to eight people) are waived for National Public Lands Day volunteers.

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring , FL 33872

Highlands Hammock is holding a National Public Lands Day event on Saturday, September 23 this year in conjunction with the nationwide event which is officially September 30. Three resource management service projects are scheduled. 1) Historic Trails Restoration will involve volunteers in clearing overgrown vegetation, downed branches, and removing any exotic, invasive vegetation from trails and/or alongside of them. Abandoned in the early 1940s, remnant trails in proximity to the Ancient Hammock Trail on the back side of the Loop Road are being restored as an ongoing resource management project. Volunteers will use brush cutters, loppers, and clippers to trim back trails and hand pull to remove and bag Caesar Weed and other exotic plants. The goal of this project is to restore and maintain these trails so they may be offered as an “off the beaten path” trek led by park rangers. Trail restoration requires moderate exertion. 2) Exotic Plant Removal will involve volunteers in removing exotic, invasive plants which include species such as Coral Ardisia and Caesar Weed. Volunteers will clear exotic vegetation by hand pulling, cutting with loppers and clippers, and bagging flowering or fruiting plants. Designated areas within the park that have been determined as the source of spread to other locales are being targeted this fall. Volunteers will be assigned specific areas where they will be removing plants including point source areas, areas of infestation, or areas around the Loop Road and/or on the trails where the natural wildlife habitat has been degraded. Removing exotic vegetation requires light to moderate exertion. 3) Trail Maintenance will involve volunteers in maintaining park trails. The Heartland Chapter of the Florida Trail Association has adopted this activity as a special project. Volunteers will use loppers and clippers to trim back protruding cabbage palm fronds and overhanging vines around the Loop Road and designated hiking trails. Volunteers will clear large downed fronds, small limbs and other tripping hazards from the trail paths. The goal of this activity is to prep the trails for increased visitation in the fall and winter. Trail maintenance requires light to moderate exertion. Additionally, a fourth service project will be offered on Sunday morning, September 24. 4) Cache In -Trash Out (CITO) is scheduled in conjunction with the Fifth Annual Hike & Seek Geocaching Event that will be held on September 23. The CITO will involve volunteers in park maintenance projects including painting the Music in the Park stage in the picnic area and the replacement of wooden park railings and the wooden benches of campfire circles in the Primitive Wilderness Campground. Volunteers will meet in the picnic area at 8:30 am. Please see Additional Information for participation requirements and other pertinent information. Visit www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC72MB3_hike-seek-5-0-a-land-remembered?guid=adf54c51-1882-452a-b9cb-3c007ffd536a for information about the many activities.

Additional Information:

Volunteers interested in participating are requested to sign up on or before Tuesday, September 19 by calling Highlands Hammock State Park at (863) 386- 6094 or by emailing Ranger Laura McMullen at laura.mcmullen@dep.state.fl.us to better assist staff preparation. Equipment will be provided, but additional loppers and brush cutters from home are helpful. Volunteers are advised to wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing. Bring work gloves, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, cold drinks, and snacks. Please review the following participation requirement by clicking on the link EEC NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY. An hour or two of your time is greatly appreciated.

Literacy Month Reading Trail @ Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm EDT

$4 per vehicle - no additional charge for the hike

More Information:
Ranger Station 352-955-2008

Located in the Northeast region at:
Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park
4732 Millhopper Road
Gainesville, FL 32653

Come out to the Millhopper for a self-guided hike along Sink Trail. In celebration of Literacy Month we have created a "Reading Trail" with six stops - each revealing a piece of the Legend of Devil's Millhopper. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Guided Tours of Historic Koreshan Settlement @ Koreshan State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:30am EDT

Guided Tours are $2 per person, $1 for children under 6, with regular park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station (239) 992-0311

Located in the Southwest region at:
Koreshan State Park
3800 Corkscrew Road
Estero, FL 33928

Join us for a Guided Walking Tour of the Historic Koreshan Settlement. Explore structures and gardens of the 19th century utopian settlement and learn about these idealistic pioneers. The walking tour is about an hour and a half and is accessible to all.

 

Additional Information:

Park admission is $2 for bicycle/pedestrian, $4 for one person in a vehicle, $5 for up to 8 persons in a vehicle. Walking tour lasts approximately 1 hour and is mostly outdoors on a crushed shell path. Please bring water, proper footware, and sun protection. Wheelchair available upon request.

Requests for these and other tours for clubs, home school associations, and other groups can be made by calling the Ranger Station at (239) 992-0311. We make every effort to accommodate all groups, however we may not be able to fulfill requests made with less than a two week notice.

Fishing Clinic @ Lovers Key State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EDT

regular Entrance fees apply

More Information:
park office at (239) 463-4588

Located in the Southwest region at:
Lovers Key State Park
8700 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Fishing Clinic: Join Park Naturalists to learn a variety of tackle and fresh bait rigs, find out the best places to drop a line, and learn about the rules and regulations regarding fishing in Southwest Florida waters.

Fishing Clinic @ Lovers Key State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EDT

Regular Entrance Fees Apply

More Information:
Call 239-463-4588.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Lovers Key State Park
8700 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Join a Park Naturalist to learn a variety of tackle and fresh bait rigs, find out the best places to drop a line, and learn about the rules and regulations that pertain to game fishing in Southwest Florida. Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

Weekly Ranger Program @ Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:00pm CDT

Program is free with regular park admission. 

More Information:
850-267-8330

Located in the Northwest region at:
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Discuss, learn about and explore the park with a Ranger.  Thursday Ranger Program starts at 3pm.  Check at the Ranger Station for current week's topic and starting location. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

5th Annual Haunted Hammock @ Highlands Hammock State Park

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 5:30pm to 10:30pm EDT

Admission fee to the Haunted Hammock is $5.00 per person. Kids under five years old are free. The Terror Tram ride is an additional $5.00 per person, regardless of age. Park entry fees are waived after 5:30 pm for the event.

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring , FL 33872

Highlands Hammock will celebrate Halloween and the arrival of autumn at the 5th Annual Haunted Hammock! This fun and thrilling special event will be held on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14, 2017. Families with very young children can enjoy the Friendly Forest, no-scare area early in the evening. The Friendly Forest features a trail walk from 5:30 pm until dusk, carnival style games with candy, coloring, costume contests, music and dancing with a live DJ, and making scarecrows. Adults and older youngsters who ride the Terror Tram may experience a suspenseful ride through the hammock after dark filled with thrills and chills. Food vendors will be on site. Please see Additional Information for participation requirements and other pertinent information.

Additional Information:

Please review the following participation requirements by clicking on the link EEC FRIENDLY FOREST HALLOWEEN and EEC TERROR TRAM HALLOWEEN.  Families with very young children are advised to attend this event on the early side of the evening from 5:30 pm until approximately 7:30 pm.  The Friendly Forest Trail for "little goblins" closes at dusk.  Adults and older youngsters may ride the Terror Tram after dusk.  It is advisable to purchase tickets at the beginning of the evening as the Terror Trams will fill and a limited number of trams  will run.