The camping area is equally as nice as a site to just run into overnight or stay for a while.
The main draw for the park is Floridas highest waterfall!
After the festive fun of the Holidays we decided to hook up the wagon, load up the bike and head out for a quick 4 day break.
Our stay here was made even better for the unusually cold weather we were lucky to have! The site has 24 camping spots and is laid out in a one way loop which is easily accessible to all size/type RVs.
Spots range from small pull ins at the side of the road to spacious and fairly private areas that accomodate up to a 45ft RV.
The common areas are well maintained and the bathroom block was clean, well lit up and have AC.
Formed where a hilltop stream flows over the rim of a stunning 100-foot deep cylindrical sink, Falling Waters Falls plunge 73-feet down into the earth and then disappear into a large cavern.
The waterfall can be viewed from overlooks,
boardwalks and a viewing platform.
The strength with which it flows ranges from that of a powerful stream in late winter and early spring to little more than a trickle in mid-summer. It always picks up strength after heavy rains.
Our visit was in early January, and the flow was very low. However, I can just imagine how awesome it would be to visit here during a fast/high flow period.
The Falling Waters Sinks, offer visitors a great place to learn about the sinkholes and karst topography of Florida. The excellently maintained, elevated
boardwalk leads around a collection of sinkholes and through the park. Informational panels explain how the sinks and visible caves formed and point
out the unique plants that thrive in the limestone rich soil.
There are sheltered picnic areas, a childrens play area and clean rest rooms with water fountains.
The boardwalk around the sinks is one of three nature trails that diverge from the paved pathway that leads from the main parking and picnic area, through a small butterfly garden and on down to the waterfall.
A longer trail leads up to an overlook that provides a spectacular view of the waterfall. From the overlook, it leaves the sinks area and passes through a beautiful longleaf pine forest and then across a footbridge that provides a beautiful view the stream as it rushes its way to the waterfall.
The actual boardwalk trail around the sinkhole area was closed off during our visit, it looked like some areas had collapsed.
As you turn towards the falls, steep but solid, set of stairs lead you down to a viewing platform and a close up with the Falls.
Back on the boardwalk trail, the path is no longer wheelchair accessible as the trail steepens and many stairs take you up and down as you wind your way through the Wiregrass Trail where you’re surrounded by tall Hickories, Oaks and Southern Magnolia trees. We were lucky to visit during one of the rare cold snaps in Florida and we really thought we’d hopped up to North Carolina!
Falling Waters State Park also preserves the
site of a 1919 oil drilling effort. One of the first commercial attempts to find oil in Florida, the well produced natural gas, but the wildcatters were not able to find oil in commercial quantities.
number of other unique industries over the
years. A water mill operated here during the
before the Civil War and in later years a legal
distillery was operated near the waterfall to
supply liquor for a wine shop in Chipley.
Following the boardwalk on a further half mile and skirting the edge of a Longleaf Pine forest, the path opens up to a small lake.
If you continue round to the right, you will come across a small beach area where a swimming area is cordoned off.
There are facilities for picnicking and grilling, shaded gazebos and clean rest/changing rooms.
As inviting as the waters would probably be in the summer, I think that having this sign there would be quite off putting!
From this beach and picnic area, there is another boardwalk which branches off and leads back up to the parking area. The path switches back and is designed to make the beach arrea accessible to the disabled and wheelchair users. For those nimble of foot, you can just cut straight up through!
Alternatively, if you want to lengthen the trail experience, you would head off of the boardwalk path and into the woods, following a trail that leads up towards the campsite area.
Throughout, the whole area is well sign posted with good direction and information. There are many benches in good spots just to sit and enjoy the air and trash cans are placed at good intervals.