Millions of years ago, Florida was under a shallow sea and over a long period of time, billions of sea creatures died, settled on the ocean floor, and left behind their shells. Over time the remains of sealife fused to make the limestone that underlies all of Florida. In a few areas, there are dry caverns beneath the surface with beautiful and intricate formations. One such cavern can be found at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, Florida.
The cave was discovered in 1937 by Mr. Oliver Chalifeaux, while doing survey work for the government. Shortly afterward, the Civilian Conservation Corps developed the cave and built a visitor center.
Cave tours are available Thursday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time. Cavern tours are closed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cave Tour Fees Children 2 and under: No fee, Ages 3 to 12: $5 per person,
Ages 13 and up: $10.75 per person. Tickets are sold in the Florida Caverns gift shop on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9 a.m.
The visitor center and gift shop is a unique limestone structure built from locally sourced materials and was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1942 as a part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal project.
A self-guided museum is located upstairs in the visitor center with a large variety of exhibits offering historical, cultural and natural resource information. Visitors can watch an entire guided cave tour on a video screen inside the museum.
In addition to the magnificent cave, Florida Caverns State Park offers a 1300 acre park with a beautiful rich forest, a great flood-plain swamp, a small serene river, and a natural bridge.
- Hiking – Explore the unique Bluff and Beech Magnolia trails and view rare Appalachian plant species as well as rock outcroppings historically used by Native Americans. These trails are accessible from the visitor center parking area and are for hiking only.
- Multi Use/Equestrian Trails – The River and Sinkhole multi-use trails in the back of the park take you on a journey past floodplains, sinkholes, rivers and karst topography. These multi-use trails are accessible to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.
- Swiming – Blue Hole is reminiscent of the old fashioned swiming hole. Named for its Blue Water, Blue hole is 35 feet deep and has no life guard on duty.
- Tent/RV Camping – Thirty-two campsites in the Blue Hole camping area are equipped with 30/50-amp electricity, water, sewer hookups, a picnic table, an in-ground grill and a fire ring. Maximum RV length for the Blue Hole Campground = 32 feet. Restrooms with showers are available.
- Equestrain Camping – There are six sites located in the equestrian camping area within walking distance of the Blue Hole day-use area. Three sites are RV/trailer only and three sites are tent only. The three RV/trailer sites are equipped with 30/50 amp electricity, water, a picnic table, an in-ground grill and a fire ring. No sewer hookups are available in these sites. Stables are available for visitors who bring their horses if camping in the equestrian camping facility.
For your convenience, here is a link to the Florida State Park’s Reservation System.
Florida Caverns State Park is located at 3345 Caverns Road Marianna, FL 32446. The entrance fee is $5 per vehicle – (Cave Tours are at additional cost and tickets must be purchased at the gift shop).
Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.
The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.