Tram

Three or four small canopied wagons with seats drawn by a pick-up truck is called a tram (though everyone knows a tram, e.g. a streetcar, runs on rails, but nevermind). The ranger-led approximately one-hour tram ride at Highlands Hammock State Park goes through parts of the park that the casual visitor is unlikely to visit otherwise. A major emphasis, like on the walking trails, is the contrast between broad-leaf hammock and pine forrest and the role of controlled burning for maintenance. In addition, there was some wildlife to see.

The ranger stopped his truck to move a gopher
tortoise from the road. He reminded us that we
ordinary folk were not permitted to handle critters.
But that wasn't the only kind of turtle to be seen.
This one is a Florida Cooter that lives in the
South Canal, built by the CCC.
Also built by the CCC in the 1930s was this wire
fence. Look closely: the post in the center with
lichen on it, is made of concrete. The fence marked
the boundary of the park in 1935 but most of it has
been removed since as the park expanded.
Those dark blotches in the trees are not blemishes in
the photo but buzzards. Vultures seem to like Florida
State Parks. For instance, they are ubiquitous at the
Myakka River State Park, too.
The holly seen in the South Canal and also in the
Cypress Swamp reminds a northerner of Christmas.
And -- of course -- there are alligators. This is Florida!



Florida ParksHighlands Hammock Definitions
Walking Trails
Cypress Swamp
The Tram