Inside these wooden gates lay a culprit obscured from nature, a natural beauty that defies the laws of the Floridian landscape, here we have a simple park, green trees abundantly placed by the one who creates everything, following alongside a roadway built by man, in the deeper sanctum we find a small dirt pathway leading to an olden age wooden lodge which now it has been surrounded by concrete as well as a stair case leading up the hill to it. Before you now, this lodge, it’s a faded blue color, a repaint needed, the smell of the woods, a pleasant pine wood smell, the lush breeze bellowing its breath through the trees. To the left once you’ve reached the top, stands a picnic bench as a marked meeting place. Welcoming you, beckoning you to it, but you hold as visitors emerge from the lodge.
Upon making payment and learning what is to come, the small fee is nothing to the memories here. At the meeting place a guide awaits and in a small orderly group all the guests now enter the only place in Florida that has this, Florida the state that is majorly flat by its nature, what a splendor to find as inside this darken void only lit by flashlight, guests are only able to see a few feet in front of them as one by one the shuffling crowd enters, and the door closed.
A small light from the guide’s flashlight flickers on. She waves it about gathering everyone together to form a circle, she welcomes and sets the expectations of this remarkable dwelling of Bats and small insects. Here the guide points to something even still remarkable yet, more so than the last, a stalagmite, yes there are many in the Florida Caverns.
This forty-five-minute walkthrough that has been a forty million years in the making makes each visit different than the first. The various stalagmites, stalactites, its rimstone pools are a spectacle worth the price of admission. There is no touching anywhere as a guide and those in the lodge will say, however, there is one exception, a long cylindrical piece that is just for guests such as yourself to get a good feel for what earth provided inside the cavern in which guests find all year-round.
Something that this hidden gem has which only few in the United States can say as well, temperature. Inside this cavern, it stays around sixty degrees all year, no matter the weather outside, inside the door its temperature remains a constant. On a hot, humid one-hundred-degree day in summer, this sixty-degree forty-five-minute tour is a blessing in disguise.
There is a walking trail behind and along the side of the cavern once the guest exit. It is called Buff Trail and hidden amongst the vast vegetation are different formations of limestone as well as several above-ground caves which make exploring the area even more fun, that is if you are into hiking and dawning on your own adventure. It is a great place to see new sights that are easily missed and not too many know about them.
Alongside the Chipola River and Blue Hole Spring are the various fishing and boating areas, yes canoeing is a definite wonderful addition to add on any trip into the caverns park. There are spots to eat at benches, but there are a couple of large grassy areas where it is recommended that guest staying all day experience with a picnic basket and a kite. Inside the park are other areas such as: camping grounds, various hiking trails (that have distance from the caverns themselves), there is even a horseback riding trail! Keep in mind that the park does not have horse for rent but there are stables available for those enthusiasts.
Lastly rounding off this adventure is a newer feature that gives its players a good run and seem to fully enjoy the field they play upon. New Deal-era Golf Course. It is a nine hole beautifully crafted rolling terrain and is adjacent to the main entrance of the park.
You will find that anyone on a visit to Florida has passed up this gem of a park due to that it is not widely known about. It is a very interesting place where for one day on a vehicle’s admission, a family can enjoy a large variety of activities and be able to beat the heat inside the caverns themselves.
Before you go to the caverns, you may want to call ahead and make sure your pricing is right.
Florida Caverns State Park
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 William L Truax III