HIGHLANDS COUNTY
 


Lake Jackson

You’ll come for the fast-paced Heartland Triathlon, but you could end up staying for the slower-paced quality of life that is Highlands County.

The heart of the weekend of Heartland Triathlon events is City Pier at 315 W. Center St. in Sebring. Nestled among Altvater Cultural Complex of Highlands Little Theatre and Sebring’s Library, Historical Society and Civic Center, the transition area parallels Lakeview Drive and is accompanied by an expo representing multi-sport interests.

The expo is a great place to find a bargain on shorts, jerseys or even bikes, or to pick up something you forgot to throw into your race crate such as gels, swim cap or race belt.

On the bike, our triathletes get a taste of our rural lifestyle as their ride takes them from Sebring’s center and circumnavigates Lake Jackson clockwise bringing them to the U.S. 27 (where the outside lane is closed off to motorists) then back onto Lakeview Drive then further north through the citrus groves that breathed life into Highlands County. A brief run up “killer hill” as our amateurs affectionately dubbed it in 2006 and the cyclists return south toward Lake Jackson for the fast ride to T2.

With helmets off and visors/hats on, the running leg provides the final kick through Sebring’s historic and beautiful downtown include the famous Circle Park that is the epicenter of Sebring. Runners coming down Center Street into the  finish line chute are greeted with cheering crowds and one of the best emcees in the business to call out their bib number, or even their name.


Downtown Sebring


Tower in Lake Placid

As Highlands County’s geographic center, Sebring is the county’s largest community, boasting attractions such as Sebring International Raceway, Military Sea Services Museum, Children’s Museum of Highlands County and more.

To the north, Avon Park’s attractions include recreation opportunities at Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range ( for civilians, active duty and retired military) and Avon Park’s Depot Museum is a popular attraction with residents. Lake Placid, about 15 minutes south of Sebring, is known as the Caladium Capital of the world but is also loved as the Town of Murals. Lake Placid is home to Lake Istokpoga, Florida’s fifth largest freshwater lake.

All three of Highlands’ bigger communities are known for the down-home downtown “Main Street, Anywhere, USA” feel, from historic architecture to friendly faces and warm welcomes.

 

 

Local cyclists, runners and swimmers consider themselves fortunate, if not privileged, to reside in what is slowly emerging as the new Mecca for individual, outdoor recreational pursuits.  Less traffic means safer roads for cycling and running. In addition, a sidewalk/recreation trail of more than 13 miles circumnavigates Sebring’s Lake Jackson (in which you’ll begin your favorite sprint triathlon) and extends west across U.S. 27 to Highlands Hammock State Park. Don’t even get us started on the lakes … too many to list!

Avon Park Mall Sunset on a Local Lake Lake Placid Highlands Hammock

Hammock Park, as we call it, is native Florida at its best. It features a 2-mile paved auto loop that is pedestrian friendly. Part of Florida’s State Parks system, it accepts the annual pass. It includes camping, bicycle rentals, horse trails, potential alligator sightings, paved and unpaved hiking, playgrounds, and grilling and picnicking opportunities. Already the go-to location for the high school cross-country races and most of the county’s 5k and 10k races, Hammock Park recently hosted and benefited from a successful inaugural half-marathon that included paved and off-road sections.

Enjoy the race. Enjoy Highlands County. Enjoy our home.  For more information visit our local chamber web sites and Visitor & Convention Bureau:


 

 
 

 Heartland Triathlon 2017 all rights reserved
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