Only a few miles from busy Interstate 10, tucked away in a quiet and serene state park, is a beautiful example of Florida geology and an oddity for a state so Flat.
It starts with a gentle creek winding through a forest of Pine, Magnolia, and Oak and ends with a plunge down a 100-foot sinkhole where the water disappears into a mysterious and unknown destination.
Florida was once submerged under a shallow ocean, and millions of years of marine sediment created the karst limestone underneath the state’s sandy soil. Over time, slightly acidic rain erodes the porous limestone creating cracks and crevices. Eventually, overlying sediment becomes too heavy, and the earth collapses, creating a sinkhole.
One sinkhole created at Falling Waters State Park is called the Chimney Sink, and it is a 100-foot-deep 20-foot-wide cylindrical pit, and it is right in the path of a flowing creek. Depending on the season and the weather conditions, the waters plunge into the sinkhole can be anything from a slow trickle to a cascading torrent. After the plunge, the water then disappears into a large cavern at the base of the sinkhole. But the most fantastic thing about this rare natural Florida feature is not the sinkhole or the waterfall itself, but that the water’s final destination is, to this day, still unknown.
There is a parking area near the waterfall, and there is a paved accessible pathway to the fall’s upper observation deck.
Other things to enjoy at Falling Waters State Park
For visitors enjoying the park in the warmer months, a refreshing swim in the two-acre freshwater lake might be in order. The swimming area also has a white sandy beach, showers, picnic tables, and restrooms.
There is about an hour’s worth of hiking in the park with trails that lead to the lake, waterfall, and other historic sites. Note: There are slight changes in elevation along the trails creating a moderate exertion level hike.
Along the trails at Falling Waters State Park, you’ll see remnants of the first oil well ever drilled in Florida, along with remnants of an 1860s grist mill.
Located on one of the highest hills in Florida, the Campground at Falling Waters has the highest elevation in the state at 324 feet above sea level.
Our Camping Adventure at the Falling Waters State Park Campground with a Video View
Falling Waters State Park is located in Florida’s Panhandle region, at 1130 State Park Road in Chipley, FL 32428 (Washington County). The entrance fee to the park is $5.00 per vehicle.
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