Tuesday, August 21

Postcards from Falling Waters State Park

About two weeks ago Hubby and I went spelunking at Florida Caverns State Park. On the drive home we realized we'd be passing Falling Waters State Park, and with plenty of daylight left it would be a shame to skip the opportunity for a state park 2-fer.

So here's the photo journey through Falling Waters State Park:
Falling Waters State Park
The park includes a series of elevated boardwalks over the limestone sinkholes. The walkways allow hikers to get close to the pits without falling in.
Placard explaining why you can't just hike through this forest...
The photo angles don't do justice to the size of the sinkholes. They could easily swallow a car and many are a hundred feet deep or more.
Sinkhole (one of many)

Another sinkhole and placard explaining the Karst formation
It was nearly impossible to get a photo that showed the depth of Florida's highest waterfall. The falls start at ground-level, and cascade down 100 feet into a limestone tunnel. A set of stairs with decks allow visitors to get about halfway down the falls.
The top of the waterfall
If you ever needed any perspective about how very flat Florida is, consider that the state's tallest waterfall doesn't cascade off of the side of a mountain or even a steep hill... it tumbles into a cave.
Waterfall information

On a deck about halfway down the waterfall
The park also has a short series of nature trails and a pretty-looking swimming area. (Note: Even though the swimming area was much nicer-looking than the "Blue Hole" at Florida Caverns, Hubby and I still didn't go for a swim. By the time we arrived, thunder clouds were moving in.)
Trail between the waterfall and the lake

Lake at Falling Waters State Park

Lake and swimming area (far side of lake)

Near the trailhead parking area there is a butterfly garden...
American Beautyberry
In the spirit of full disclosure, we spent as much time chasing butterflies as we did hiking in this park.

What's your favorite state park or wilderness area?

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