Florida Caverns State Park is located about 3 hours away from Jacksonville. Check out this 1,300 acre sanctuary on both banks of the Chipola River.
The day-use portion of Florida Caverns State Park is open daily, 8 a.m. to sunset Central time. They offer guided cave tours Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep in mind that the tours are limited to 25 people.
The park’s caves have a long and interesting geologic history. Sea levels were much higher than today. The southeastern coastal plain of the United States was submerged. Shells, coral and sediments gradually accumulated on the sea floor. As sea levels fell, these materials hardened into limestone. As the acidic groundwater dissolved crevices just below the surface, cave passages large enough to walk through were created.
Their park offers two networks of nature trails. The visitor trail winds its way through towering hardwoods and limestone bluffs above the river floodplain. The Upper Chipola trails offer 6 miles to explore for hikers, bicyclers, and horseback riders. Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet and well behaved at all times.
The visitor center has a display of maps,exhibits,artifacts, and a video tour of the cavern. The park also allows visitors to fish,picnic,camp, and canoe. They even have canoe rentals, stables, and camping options.
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