7 Best Florida Caves
Florida caves? What caves? Florida is sunshine and sand, beaches and waves, fishing and golfing, and Disney World and Cape Kennedy Space Center. Isn’t that enough for one state?
While Florida does have all that shoreline, there’s a lot of landscape in between the coasts with scenic areas, rivers, lakes, and caves. Most of the caves are underwater with the water at a cool, constant 72 degrees.
Florida Caverns State Park
The park is northwest of Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle. Florida Caverns State Park is the only cave to offer guided tours through an air filled cavern system.
Once primordial seas covered this area. Sediment consisting of shells and coral fell to the bottom and were compacted into limestone. The seas receded and acidic ground water dissolved the limestone around cracks, eventually forming the caves and sinkholes. Water, seeping through cracks, deposited minerals on the cave floor and stalagmites grew up from the floor while stalactites were created above. These stunning formations, along with flowstones, soda straws, and many others, make the caverns a wonderland of rock.
RV campsites have all the amenities.
This is a mostly underwater cave system. The cave system lies in the karst landscape near Williston, south of Gainesville. Karst is an area on eroded limestone with caves, sinkholes, and unique rock formations. A portion of the roof over a subterranean river collapsed leaving a window to the sky.
Devil’s Den is privately owned and is operated as a SCUBA diving training and recreational facility. Four chambers extend from the pool under the window. One of them contained both animal and human remains. These were removed. The animals included mastodons, dire wolves, and saber-toothed cats. The human remains dated from 7500 B,C,. The RV camping site has 32 hookups and most have power, water, and sewer.
Leon Sinks Geological Area
Leon Sinks is a few miles south of Tallahassee. The karst here has created eighteen sinkholes, eight wet and ten dry. The wet sinks have different colors in the water and two are connected by a natural bridge. This is the longest underwater cave at 32 miles as it connects to Wakulla Springs caves. The Leon Sinks are connected by miles of hiking trails through forests and along the rivers. No camping is available at the site, but there are numerous RV campgrounds nearby.
World class diving is available at this privately owned spring a few miles northwest of Gainesville. The visibility in the water is incredible. Even Jacques Cousteau was impressed. Besides SCUBA and snorkeling, the campgrounds offers hiking, watersports galore, and tubing down the Santa Fe River. Kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards are available for rent. All RV hook-ups have electricity and water but no sewer.
Blue Grotto Dive Resort
The Diver Resort is privately owned and offers diving experiences for day visitors as well as having cabins for rent. The Blue Grotto has the largest underwater cavern in the area with a depth of 100 feet, ideal for training and classes.
In addition to the large cavern, there is a second cave, accessible through an underwater tunnel about 300 feet long. The width varies. Only certified cave divers are allowed in and have to be led by a resort guide. The hidden cave has been carefully preserved in its original state when found. RV campsites are limited but include electricity, water, and sewer. RV campgrounds are prolific in the area.
Morrison Springs State Park
The park is also in the Florida Panhandle, east of Elgin Air Force Base. The pool is surrounded by huge, old cypress trees. There are no hiking trails, but a boardwalk leads to the spring and to a swimming beach. Besides diving and snorkeling, paddle boarding is popular. RV camping is not available at the park, but numerous RV campgrounds are close by.
Warrens Cave Nature Preserve in northern Florida is owned by the National Speleological Society. It is the location for the blind crayfish on the endangered species list. The three separate air-filled caverns total four miles in length, making this the longest cavern in Florida. Permission to enter the property must be obtained in advance. No RV camping is available at the site, but nearby campgrounds are plentiful.
There are quite a few Florida caves and they can be exciting to visit. The Panhandle karst landscape has many. Plan a vacation around these fascinating sites and see a side of Florida you never knew before. Explore Florida caves.