Florida at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Explore the Unique Geology of Florida at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is on County Road 232 in the Northwestern part of the state in Gainesville FL. The name of the park comes from the sinkhole’s shape that resembles the unit that holds grain in a grist mill. It looks much like the way the inside of a funnel looks. The area is known for bringing in tourists since the late 1800’s. This attraction is very popular with locals who like to take full advantage of the picnic area to enjoy the sun and catch up with someone special. There is even a rainforest to explore in this 71-acre recreation area.
Explore Devil’s Millhopper Sinkhole
The first thing everyone wants to do when visiting this popular Florida destination is to see the sinkhole. You can watch the water trickle down the sides of the cliff where limestone deposits make the walls slick as you walk down more than 230 steps to reach the bottom. You will immediately notice a temperature drop as you descend the wooden stairs for more than a 100 feet. At the bottom, you can search for fossils and shark teeth in the rock facings, take selfies with the family, or listen for nearby forest creatures.
Bike the rim of the sinkhole
When you get your fill of the magnificent wonder of nature, then you can get in some exercise with a bike trip around the perimeter of the opening. It is more than 500 feet wide with the circumference spanning a full half-mile. Millhopper Road is paved with safe paths for bikers who want to continue the trip too. The visitor’s center has exhibits that you can use to learn about the park and animals that are visible in the area.
Search for wildlife in the diverse habitats
One of the unique things about this Gainesville park is that it is a sandy area that encapsulates a little rainforest where swamps provide cover for crayfish and other critters. The inside of the sinkhole is a moist climate where these animals thrive. Besides the animals, there are tons of plant life to identify like ferns and a variety of mosses. Water creeps between the limestone walls nourishing wildlife in this habitat and providing plenty of places for animals and insects to hide. There are many types of squirrels and birds to watch out for too.
Park hours and admission
While the park lists the admission as $4 for up to eight visitors per vehicle, there is an honor box for you to put in your parking donation. The park expects guests to be honest and use exact change. This Gainesville park is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open from Wednesday through Sunday from nine in the morning until five in the evening. There are tours that you can take with a park ranger every Saturday at ten in the morning. You can learn about the wildlife, habitats, and ask questions.
This Gainesville Fl park is pet-friendly
Visiting Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is an excellent way to spend time with your pet in the great outdoors. You can bring your animals with you as long as you put them on a leash that is six foot or shorter in length. They are allowed in the picnic area only.
When you are ready to explore the unique outdoor experiences that Gainesville FL has to offer, then a trip to Devil’s Millhopper Park is in store. You can set up a private tour as well. If you want to bring a large group, the park asks that you call ahead at 386-462-7905.