Geology is the focus of Falling Waters State Park, where a cascade along the Sinkhole Trail plunges more than 70 feet into a cylindrical sinkhole lined with ferns and mosses.
The observation platform is about a third of the way down, and is just one facet of the lengthier Sinkhole Trail boardwalk surrounding a swarm of sinkholes creating deep fissures in the bluff.
Resources for exploring the area
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Address: 1130 State Park Rd, Chipley
Fees: $4-5 per vehicle
Restrooms: By parking area
Land Manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM until sunset daily. Leashed pets welcome, but not on boardwalks.
Take Interstate 10 exit 120, Chipley, and drive 0.7 mile south on SR 77. Turn left on CR 77A (State Park Rd) and continue to the end of the road to the park entrance. After paying your entrance fee, follow the road to where it ends, and park near the picnic pavilion and playground.
About the Park
Now let us quash the rumors right here: this is NOT the only waterfall in Florida, it’s just that it’s more accessible than most.
There are tall skinny ones, there are wider ones, and there are more spectacular cascades. But none drops as deep as Falling Waters, since this waterfall dramatically vanishes into a dark naturally-round sinkhole.
The waterfall put Chipley on the map in the 1860s, when a grist mill operated from its power. By 1882, the railroad shifted commerce a few miles north.
A series of boardwalks lead you around yawning sinkholes and up into the pine flatwoods, fragrant in spring with wild azalea blooms.
Campers relax beneath the shadows of tall longleaf pines, with a swimming pond below. A playground is atop a high ridge.
It’s a spectacular slice of Florida scenery at both the macro and landscape level, well worth pulling off I-10 for some exploration.
Explore the park
Falling Waters Sinkhole Trail
Iconic as the home of Florida’s tallest waterfall, Falling Waters State Park is a showcase for Florida geology just south of I-10 in Chipley. Follow the Sinkhole Trail to see the waterfall and some very deep sinkholes.
See our photos of Falling Waters State Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Among the Wolves
When getting to know wolves means sitting among them, it’s a bit intimidating. But being among the wolf packs of Seacrest Wolf Preserve near Chipley will open your eyes as to why wolves are well worth protecting.
Florida Trail, Econfina Creek
18.4 miles. Winding along rolling hillsides north of Panama City, the Econfina Creek section of the Florida Trail offers a challenging hike with stunning views of its namesake creek.
Florida Trail, Altha
1.7 miles. Following Bauldree Branch to the bluffs of the Chipola River, the Altha section of the Florida Trail is a fabulous destination for spring wildflowers.
Florida Caverns State Park
A dip into Florida’s only show cave at Florida Caverns State Park brings on an instant sense of cool.