Florida is a lot more than just beautiful beaches and thrilling theme parks. You can also find some spectacular caves throughout the state, including a large state park. Although there are caves throughout Florida and more are safe, you should always practice caution when climbing or visiting caves. Still, it’s worth a drive and trip. Are you interested in visiting some of the most amazing caves on your next trip to Florida? Keep reading to discover 9 caves in Florida, some are true hidden treasures!
1. Florida Caverns State Park
One of the best places to safely see unique caves in Florida is the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, FL. The air-filled caves are accessible to the public and you can take guided tours. The park was established in 1942 and sees over 100,000 visitors every year. The caverns are stunning and filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstones. This hidden gem is worth a visit next time you are in Florida. Not only can you see a stunning air-filled cave system, but also animals like bats. Apart from the cavern tour, you can also climb, hike, camp, and horseback ride in Florida Caverns State Park.
2. Blue Grotto
Another amazing cave is Blue Grotto’s underwater cave, a private spring in Williston, FL. It is extremely accessible and perfect for divers looking for a challenge. This natural and nearly untouched underwater cave is filled with many fragile spots, so if you are diving here, keep your hands to yourself. Although this cave isn’t as large as others in North America, it’s still about the size of a football field with over 800 feet of permanent guidelines.
3. Warren’s Cave
Warren’s Cave is another incredible cave in Florida, it’s also the longest dry cave in the state. There are over 4 miles of mapped passages. Warren’s Cave is in Alachua County, FL, near the San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. Interestingly, while this stunning cave has been popular since the 19th century, only about 400 feet of passages were marked and known by 1959. Sadly, while bats were abundant in this cave, they are rarely seen now. However, when a pool of water forms, you can see cave crayfish, leopard frogs, and cave crickets.
4. Morrison Springs State Park Underwater Caves
Morrison Springs State Park is a beautiful park to visit. You won’t get bored as there is just so much to do! One of the biggest attractions is the underwater caves. It’s one of the most popular freshwater scuba diving sites in the state. It’s open from sunrise to sunset and is located in Ponce de Leon, FL. Morrison Springs State Park offers 161 acres of fun. Apart from diving into the underwater caves, you can also walk along the boardwalk and admire the spring’s crystal clear waters.
5. Dames Cave
The next cave on our list is Dames Cave in Withlacoochee State Forest. It’s close to Homosassa Springs, and Brooksville, FL. To see this stunning cave, you need to walk a marked hiking trail near the town. The main room of the cave has an open and partially collapsed ceiling which allows sunlight inside. From this entrance, you can explore the cave deeper. The cave is small with some tight spaces and has bright and colorful graffiti on the walls.
6. Devil’s Den
The Devil’s Den might be the most well-known cave and spring in Florida. It was formed by a karst window and is located near Williston, FL. This beautiful cave is privately owned and offers SCUBA diving training. Interestingly, previously the opening to Devil’s Den was small, causing visitors to squeeze through. However, in the 1990s, the opening was enlarged which helped divers as it was open to the public. This cave also has four underwater passages. One of the most important passages contained human remains dating back to 7,500 BC. Experts also found and studied remains from extinct (Pleistocene) species. If you are interested in scuba diving here, you need a dive buddy and at least an Open Water Certification. You must also leave any rocks and fossils in place.
7. Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park Underwater Caves
Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park is a large 733-acre state park in Suwannee County, FL. The park is mainly known for its long cave system. The Peacock Springs Cave system has over 38,000 feet of explored passageways. It’s a diver’s paradise with lots to see. Interestingly, this long cave system wasn’t explored until 1956 by Vasco Murray, but it wasn’t until 1995 when National Speleological Society team leader, Sheck Exley completed the first map. The most accessible spot is the Peacock I Spring which features three tunnels with permanent guidelines. Apart from diving, you can also admire the many animals that call Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park home including barred owls, wild turkeys, and otters.
8. Leon Sinks Geological Area
Another impressive cave system to explore in Florida is the Leon Sinks Geological Area. This large underwater system is long and connects to Wakulla Springs and is within the Apalachicola National Forest. Within this area, swimming is not allowed to protect the many sinks and caves. However, while you can’t swim, you can take the trails and walk along the boardwalk.
9. Ichetucknee Springs State Park Cave Systems
Last but not least is the Ichetucknee Springs State Park. The park’s surface area is about 2,241 acres. Here, you can find Blue Hole Spring, a popular spot for divers. The cave system offers about 600 feet of passages and you can see the entrance from the surface. Blue Hole Springs is cold but filled with animals like fish and turtles. The most common wildlife animals in the state park are whitetail deer, North American otters, alligator gars, and wood ducks. If you want to dive in the springs, you will need a cave/cavern scuba and the right equipment.
Summary Of The 9 Caves In Florida
|1||Florida Caverns State Park||Marianna|
|3||Warren’s Cave||Alachua County|
|4||Morrison Springs State Park Underwater Caves||Ponce de Leon|
|5||Dames Caves||Homosassa Springs, and Brooksville|
|7||Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park Underwater Caves||Suwannee|
|8||Leon Sinks Geological Area||Tallahassee|
|9||Ichetucknee Springs State Park Cave Systems||Fort White|
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