Posted on May 22, 2016
An underground world of wonder at Florida Caverns State Park
Caverns in the Sunshine State? No, can’t be. Amusement parks, beautiful beaches, airboat tours, that makes sense but limestone stalactites and stalagmites?
While on brief assignment on the pan handle of Florida last week I found myself exploring a hidden gem called Florida Caverns State Park. Located in the tiny town of Marianna, 60-miles west of Tallahassee, is a one-of-kind natural oddity with hundreds of dazzling rock formations millions of years old. Underground passages built by the Civilian Conservation Corps workers in 1937 help visitors navigate past a prehistoric world of wonder.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for the 45-minute tour (Central Standard Time threw me for a time crunch) but the Park Ranger was happy to accommodate my limited schedule. He instructed me on a few other reasons for visiting like the Bluff Trail leading to a tunnel cave where rare plants grow wild and a beautiful blue springs that harbors large gators.
Word of advice: given this is a floodplain don’t even think of visiting without bug repellent. I was in a hurry anyway so sprinting through the upland pines worked in my favor but any slower and the mosquitos would have eaten me alive.