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The sinkhole, but there was no water flowing at the time.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Falling Waters State Park

1130 State Park Road Chipley, Florida 32428
Park is open 8:00am to sundown year round.
850-638-6130 1.5 hours
January 2012 Summer, Fall, Spring
$0-9 Chipley Florida
Website Nature State Parks
First review
 
Falling Waters State Park is a 171 acre state park in northwest Florida. The main attraction and the park’s namesake is a waterfall that falls 73 feet into a sinkhole. The waterfall is fed by a small creek which in turn flows from a 2 acre manmade lake. Additional attractions include several short hiking trails, a lake/beach and a developed campground. The park also is only a few miles from Interstate 10.

In the 1800s the waterfall was used to power a gristmill. Later, a distillery was built. An oil well was dug here in 1919, but it was a commercial failure and was capped two years later. The park was acquired by the state in 1962 primarily to protect the waterfall. This part of North Florida has a picturesque countryside typified by rolling green hills, but you don’t need to pay a park entrance fee to view it.

The park was quiet and fairly empty during the week in January. There were some people camping and RVing. Unfortunately, the waterfall was not flowing at the time, but the sinkhole itself was viewable via a well-maintained boardwalk trail. The sinkhole was narrow but quite deep. The waterfall is most impressive after significant rainfall, which can happen any time of year but is more likely in spring and summer. Some reasonably interesting interpretive signs along the boardwalk provided information about trees and the park habitat. Oaks and magnolias are more prevalent in and around the sinkholes, and pine trees are common on higher ground. As for the lake, it’s not a freshwater springs, so water temperatures are suitable for swimming only in warmer weather. The beach can get crowded on summer weekends and holidays but is typically quiet during the week. It was nothing special, but was clean and accessible. The wiregrass trail is an easy hike of less than a mile. It connects the waterfall to the lake. While this trail is not a bad option to stretch your legs, it’s a featureless walk through the woods so don’t expect too much. With an empty waterfall, short unremarkable trails and a lake too cool for swimming, there was little to see or do here and consequently an hour or so sufficed to check the place out. The park could be worth a quick visit to admire the waterfall after heavy rains, but otherwise your leisure time would be better spent enjoying other attractions.
Author:
guyonthego
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