The erosion of the limestone by the water seeping through from underground is what causes the resulting topography (caverns or sinkholes), like in Falling Waters or Florida Caverns State Parks. It is really unique and definitely worth a visit.
Ellison and I went because it's still ridiculously hot outside and with temperatures at the bottom of the sinkhole consistently about 15 degrees cooler it seemed like a nice place take a walk. Except not today because the stairs were underwater. Or at least half of them were. And that much water meant mosquitoes. Tons of them. Everywhere.
Ellison was really excited about it because the rushing water sounded so much like the hikes we take in Tennessee. And as you know, we are definitely in the mood for some fall hiking after months of the Florida heat.
I know that a lot of people are kind of freaked out by snakes (and I am a little bit, too), but these Red-Bellied Water Snakes were far enough away that I didn't have to worry about them getting in our way and could appreciate their beauty.
In addition to stairs leading down into the sinkhole, there is a well-maintained boardwalk and trail that loop around the top. It isn't very long (about a half-mile), but it's pretty walk and particularly easy for families with small children.
He insisted that we take pictures with them (I mean, truly insisted!) and told Ellison all about the Junior Ranger program. She felt she was way too old for this, but didn't want to hurt his feelings so she graciously played along.
This man definitely loves his job and really makes an effort to get visitors, especially children, interested in the park. Honestly, it was refreshing to see someone that enthusiastic and we all learned something new about the history of the park. Do you know how Devil's Millhopper got it's name? I had never heard these stories and Ellison and I thought they lent an air of mystery to an already curious natural phenomenon.
See you back here next weekend!