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Sebring Chamber Visitor's Guide & Member Directory

Outdoors A high quality

Outdoors A high quality of life enjoyed are all on private property or part of in the Greater Sebring government lands. The biggest is the area and all of Highlands Avon Park Bombing Range, northeast of Avon Park (actually in Polk County is due, in part, to the seemingly endless opportunities for recreational activities. The mild climate lation, the Range boasts 106,000 County). An active military instal- invites residents and visitors to enjoy acres, giving plenty of room for military maneuvers and hunting camps a wide variety of outdoor activities on a year-round basis. to co-exist. The Range annually gives out passes to hunt deer, turkey, hogs and quail and is also a great place for camping and fishing. The county has numerous lakes — more than 100 in all, but 87 with names — most with access for fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing and newer trends such as tubing. Famed for its largemouth bass fishing, sprawling Lake Istokpoga is just south of the Sebring area and boasts several fish camps and numerous fishing guides. Sebring’s gem is Lake Jackson, which is also known for its share of big bass. City owned and maintained beaches on Lake Jackson are popular spots for family recreation. Arbuckle Creek to the north and the Kissimmee River to the east, along with 19 county parks and 44 county-maintained boat ramps, provide residents and guests with diverse opportunities to enjoy water sports. Besides golf, fishing may be the biggest draw to the Sebring area. Largemouth bass are the most popular target, but our lakes, ponds and creeks, as well as the Kissimmee River, are teeming with all kinds of fish. Crappies (locals call them specks) are the most popular panfish sought by anglers and almost every body of water has a catfish or two swimming in it. Hunters also have plenty of opportunities, although the hunting sites 24 Welcome to Sebring Highlands Hammock State Park features exciting and informative hiking trails and boardwalks — some of which are wheelchair accessible. The state park — the first in Florida — covers 9,000-plus acres and offers camping and picnic areas, as well as miles of walking and biking trails and narrated tram tours through miles of well-preserved wilderness. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will be pleased with the abundance of opportunities in the area. The Great Florida Birding Trail runs through the county and in our parks and wildlands, residents and visitors can see alligators, deer, otters, armadillos, bears, dozens of varieties of birds, as well as other wildlife. In and around Sebring and Highlands County, observers can see the endangered Florida scrub jay, along with the swallow-tail kite, sandhill crane, osprey and bald eagle. South Florida State College’s Wayside Shrine Trail offers a walk through a patch of the scrub, with signposts pointing out some of the unique plants along the way. You can also bike and hike the trails in the Preserve area of the Sun ’n Lake Improvement District. Highlands Hammock State Park Kile Brewer

Fitness While there is ample opportunity to kick back and relax in the Sebring area, there is also plenty for those who want to work up a sweat. With ample sunny days and plenty of less-traveled roads, there is plenty of room for workouts. The biggest gathering of fitness buffs is the Heartland Triathlon, which began in 2006. A triathlon is a true challenge, and there are two different races for adults during the triathlon weekend, which is held Father’s Day. In the sprint distance, athletes swim a quarter mile, bike 14 miles and run a 5K (3.1 miles). In 2013, an Olympic-distance race was added, which features a .93-mile swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride and a 10K (6.2- mile) run. There are also shorter races for kids on the day before the adult race. Bicycling is also a popular local sport, with our hundreds of miles of rural roads. The annual Tour of Sebring in September and the Highlands Bike Fest in December bring hundreds of bikers for rides ranging from short jaunts to centuries. That’s 100 miles and that’s actually a warm up for the folks who come in February for the Bike Sebring 12- 24, where riders go for 12 hours or 24 hours — spending the overnight hours doing laps around Sebring International Raceway. The Highlands Pedalers bicycle club hosts rides for all skill sets on a 2016 Heartland Triathlon Highlands News-Sun staff photo regular basis. Visit www.highlandspedalers.com for more information. The two biggest races for runners — the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and the Firecracker 5K on July 4 — are on the certified 5K course at Highlands Hammock, but there are races in the area almost every weekend. Those who want to get an indoor workout can go to Gold’s Gym at 1720 U.S. 27 North in Sebring or the YMCA just off Hammock Road in Sebring. Both offer pools and fully staffed and equipped workout facilities, both with free weights and fitness machines. In addition, both offer a large lineup of classes for all ages. Welcome to Sebring 25

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