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Some of the sinks on the Sinkhole Trail are low enough to get below the water table of the Florida Aquifer.
Leon Sinks Geological Area
Closest available address
Located about 10 miles south of Tallahassee off of Highway 319
Generally open sunrise to sunset year-round.
Best time to visit
Fall, Winter, Spring
The Leon Sinks Geological Area is a 650 acre natural area located in the Apalachicola National Forest in north Florida. Leon Sinks protects numerous sink holes and caves that have formed in the limestone rock. Several trails provide access to the sinkholes and ecosystems in the park.
Leon Sinks is part of the Woodville Karst Plain, which extends from south Georgia into north Florida. Karst is a term for porous limestone rock and related sinkholes and caves. As rainwater drains into the ground it interacts with carbon dioxide and becomes slightly acidic. The acid gradually dissolves limestone rock causing depressions, or sinks, in the surface. When the erosion becomes significant the depressions can collapse to form deep sinkholes. Some sinkholes extend down to the Florida Aquifer water table. The aquifer has formed extensive caves in north Florida and feeds freshwater springs which are popular for swimming and diving.
Leon Sinks has two primary trails, Sinkhole (3.1 miles) and Gumswamp (2.3 miles). The Crossover Trail (.5 miles) provides a shortcut back to the trailhead. Sinkhole Trail passes a variety of wet and dry sinks, including the largest and deepest sink, Great Dismal. Gumswamp Trail meanders through a swamp environment and a pine forest with a saw palmetto understory. Changes in land elevation and moisture influence the vegetation here. Information on sinks was limited, but the trails were well maintained, crowds were few, and the area was unspoiled. It was a relaxing place to walk around on a pleasant day in February. Sinkhole Trail was the more interesting trail option at the geological area, but both trails can be covered in 2-3 hours. Leon Sinks is not well known but is easily accessible from Tallahassee. It will have most interest for those seeking outdoor recreation, but the unusual nature of the landscape also will have appeal as a natural attraction. Mosquito repellant is a good idea in summer.
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