Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hiking Falling Waters State Park

Andy by waterfall-2Our trip to Falling Waters State Park was inspired by their claim to have the largest waterfall in the state.  Most of the waterfalls that I’ve seen in Florida are measured in inches, so when I read that there was one that fell 73 feet I had to see it.  This waterfall is different than most – it actually falls into a sink hole.  Well, it does when there is water running in the creek above anyway.Waterfall info sign

Yep, the summer has been so dry in northern Florida that the waterfall was dry today.  It still is a pretty amazing site to see.  There is a lookout platform built just below the top of the falls that overlooks the whole site all the way to the bottom.  The sinkhole is about 30 feet across, and when looking down to the bottom, it is deep enough to give a feeling over vertigo.

FWSP-Sinkhole-2The trail around the falls is a well maintained boardwalk that passes by a couple of smaller sinkholes on the way to the main attraction, but there is more to see.Oil drilling sign

Just beyond the waterfall is a site marked as an old oil well.  Since Florida isn’t known for it’s vast oil reserves, this was a surprising find in the middle of an area surrounded by swamps.  I suppose that this site is one of the reasons that a lot more old capped wells aren’t found here.

FWSP Swimmin hole-1Beyond the oil well, the trail leads to an area that overlooks the park’s swimming area.  There wasn’t anyone swimming there on the day that we visited, but it looks like it is still open.  There is also fishing allowed here, and probably even canoeing / kayaking.

All in all, this is a nice place to visit.  I’d suggest coming in the late winter or early spring when the waterfall probably has water flowing, but even if it is dry it is something worth seeing.  If you would like the technical details for this hike, click on the “Trip details” link on the map below the rest of the pictures.

Photo Dump

Waterfall-vertical pano-2

Waterfall-vertical pano-1

Falling waters state park

Boardwalk Path-2

FWSP Swimmin hole-2 Oil well and placard-1
FWSP-Sinkhole-6 Boardwalk Path-2
Andy by waterfall-1Powerline Trail-1 Trees and grass View down waterfall sink hole-1Praire and Trees

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