Have you ever been inside a sinkhole? As a general rule, I would not advise it. Florida is infamous for swallowing things, sometimes with horrific consequences. That said, I do encourage you to take a hike inside a massive sinkhole in Gainesville.
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a National Natural Landmark and one of Florida’s Natural Wonders. An intricate staircase with 232 steps brings you 120 feet into the earth, right to the very bottom of this 500 foot diameter sinkhole. As you descend, the sounds of running water and songbirds replace the sounds of humanity.
In fact, the Devil’s Millhopper has its own microclimate. It’s very tropical, with small streams trickling over the limestone outcroppings, ferns and mosses everywhere. Lush vegetation is perpetual here, as the earth moderates temperatures while providing shade and moisture even in times of drought.
Florida’s watery history is written in the limestone walls. Shark’s teeth and fossils of ocean creatures tell of a time when Florida was covered by salt water. Every step down is a step back in time.
There is also a scenic ½ mile trail around the rim of the sink. Here you can see some of the water sources that feed the sink and the topside plants and animals that benefit from their proximity. The grounds of this 64 acre park are a great place for a picnic, too. There is also a very nice visitor center with interpretive displays that explain the fascinating history of this natural wonder.
Please Note >> This park does not operate on a typical Florida State Parks schedule: OPEN Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ONLY. The price is a great value at just $4/vehicle with up to 8 people/vehicle.
Know Before You Go! Check out the Photo Gallery, WonderMap, and links provided. If it piques your interest, go for it. If not, check out our Bucket List and Where-to-Go to find the perfect outdoor spots for you. Whatever you do, get out there and enjoy Florida’s Natural Wonders.
Devil’s Millhopper Hiking WonderMap. Tip >> Click on waypoint flags for GPS location photos.
Devil’s Millhopper Hiking, Garmin fenix version.
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, 4732 Millhopper Road, Gainesville, FL 32653