With 77 lakes within the county for fishing, boating, skiing and sailing, and more than a dozen golf courses, Highlands County is a year-round recreational paradise. The central location of Sebring and Highlands County provides easy access to all Florida attractions without the hustle and high prices of the major attraction areas.
Country Club of Sebring
Golf Hammock Country Club
Harder Hall Country Club – Eighteen Hole Course
Harder Hall Country Club – Executive Course
Lake Country Golf & Country Club
Leza Leisure Lakes Golf Course
Placid Lakes Country Club
Sebring Golf Club
Sebring Lakeside Golf Resort
Spring Lake Golf & Tennis Resort – Deer Run Course
Spring Lake Golf & Tennis Resort – Eagle/Hawk Course
Spring Lake Golf & Tennis Resort – Hawk/Osprey Course
Spring Lake Golf & Tennis Resort – Heron Course
Spring Lake Golf & Tennis Resort – Osprey/Eagle Course
Spring Lake Golf & Tennis Resort – Turtle Run Course
Highlands Hammock State Park
This is one of Florida´s oldest parks, opening to the public in 1931. It was established when local citizens came together to promote the hammock as a candidate for national park status. Many visitors enjoy bicycling the scenic 3-mile loop drive or hiking along the park´s nine trails. An elevated boardwalk traverses an old-growth cypress swamp. Picnicking is another popular activity as are ranger-guided tours of the park. Highlands Hammock offers a full-facility campground, as well as a youth/group tent campground. A recreation hall is available for rental, as are several picnic pavilions. A museum showcasing the history of the CCC is open 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Located on County Road 634, four miles west of Sebring.
Lake Jackson, covering 9,212 acres (37 km²), is located within the city of Sebring, Florida. Sebring is the county seat of Highlands County. Lake Jackson, a healthy freshwater lake, is approximately 25 feet (8 m) at its deepest. Most of the area is fairly shallow. The water is clear as compared to most lakes and the shores are sandy.
The lake has various boat ramps, including the popular public ramp at Veterans Beach on the lake’s west side. Most ramps are private and there are many private beaches. Two public swimming beaches exist, one at Veterans Beach and one just to the west of downtown Sebring. Pleasure boating and fishing are popular activities. A public fishing dock is to the north side of the swimming beach near the downtown.
Fishing & Charters
What’s Biting Now
The Highlands County area offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities: fishing in our 30+ lakes, golfing on one of the 11 area golf courses, hiking and biking trails, shuffleboard and tennis. For Children there is the The Children’s Museum of the Highlands which offers a unique “hands-on-experience, or just relax and enjoy the magnificent sunsets. The Avon Park Air Force Range has approximately 82,000 acres open for public access on a regular basis for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and other related activities. We welcome you to come and enjoy!
More than 30 service and civic organizations welcome new members and participants for enhanced community support and involvement. A list of Avon Park organizations are available at the Avon Park Chamber of Commerce office located at 28 East Main Street.
The 1,500-seat auditorium of South Florida State College is the setting for the annual Cultural Series which often includes Broadway musicals, ballet, and outstanding concerts by well-known artists. SFCC also offers a Senior Enrichment Series (on Tuesday afternoons during the winter months) for residents and visitors 55+. The Series features headline performers, as well as arts groups from area schools, churches, and civic groups. The Music Department provides many performances throughout the year featuring the highly acclaimed SFCC Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Chorale, the Sweet Adelines, and the Highlandaires.
In 1988 the Avon Park Public Library became part of a county-wide system. The Avon Park Branch offers more than 30,000 volumes, audio and video tapes, large print books and a genealogy reference collection. The Highlands County Library System has joined with DeSoto, Hardee, and Okeechobee counties to form the Heartland Library Cooperative offering an interlibrary loan service which provides access to extensive library collections.
The Learning Resource Center, a part of South Florida State College, has more than 41,000 books plus 100 journals and 14 national computer data bases. The Learning Resource Center is available to residents when they purchase a library card (good for one year) for only $5.
The annual “Springtime on the Mall” Arts & Crafts Festival held in late March brings vendors from around the country and draws over 15,000 in attendance for the two-day event. The Avon Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to have sponsored this event for almost 20 years.
Close by on US 27 are two enclosed malls: Lakeshore Mall to the south, and Eagle Ridge Mall to the North. Avon Park has two central shopping districts and numerous retail centers, as well as the “Mile-Long Mall” antique district with other unique shops and restaurants.
Highlands Hammock State Park, which opened in 1931, is known for its beautiful old-growth hammock and thousand year old oaks. Ferns and air plants are abundant. Black bear and the Florida panther tread softly through the hammock and may be glimpsed occasionally. An elevated boardwalk with an historic catwalk traverses cypress swamp, and visitors may observe alligators, birds and other wildlife.
Although Avon Park is an active military installation, it is endowed with large areas of rare central Florida ecosystems, including dry prairie, oak and sand pine scrubs, pine flatwoods, and freshwater marshes that abut the Kissimmee River. There is a catwalk with an observation tower that looks over Lake Arbuckle, a levee for walking around a freshwater marsh, and 12 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail. Access to the range is limited.
Due to military use and managed hunts, the site is open to the public from January to October only, from Thursday through Monday noon to evening.
There is a tremendous variety of birds at this range. Red-cockaded woodpeckers, eastern bluebirds, and other species of the flatwoods nest near Bravo Road. Crested caracaras and grasshopper sparrows are sometimes seen along the north side of Kissimmee Road. Pileated woodpeckers, barred owls, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey live in and around a string of oak hammocks that separate the marshes from the surrounding uplands.
U.S. Air Force
Take Florida Highway 64 10 miles east of Avon Park. Obtain permit, map and other information at the natural resources office.
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128 Authority Lane
Sebring, Florida 33870
(863) 655-6447 (fax)