Thursday, January 13, 2011

Florida Caverns State Park

We left the Georgia coast and headed west, landing on the pan-handle at Florida Caverns State Park. We packed up and left in a cold rain, and drove out of the rain, but the cold remained. Damp, penetrating cold. A most UN-Florida-like cold.

While New England got hammered by a blizzard, we walked the dogs under clear skies, but the temperature never climbed above 40 degrees, and the furnace burned up lots of propane keeping us warm at night. We walked among the many sink-holes in the park, where underground waterways erode the limestone earth and it caves in upon itself. Then there is the Chipola river, which disappears underground for a 1/4 mile or so before coming back to the surface. This is the Blue Hole, where the river re-surfaces to continue its journey:

Most of the underground caverns are part of the aquifer, but here at the park there are dry caverns which have been opened up for touring. Its off-season, so Nancy and I had the tour guide all to ourselves, and enjoyed a very thorough exploration of the caverns. We really liked how the passage took us right among the formations, as opposed to keeping us away with railings. We had to duck to avoid taking a stalagtite to the head. And, it is always 65 degrees underground, which felt awesome given the Canadian climate topside.

Toby and I took a paddle on the Chipola's clear waters, enjoying the cypress trees and the abundant bird life, like cardinals, mergansers, pileated woodpeckers, and the barred owls which can be heard day and night.


  1. Florida has many wonders afforded by Mother Nature. We hope you enjoyed your visit to the Great State of Florida and hope you return someday. Be safe in your journey West Matthew and Nancy. Love, Uncle Jacob and Aunt Bernice

  2. Matt, send me your email address. Not sure if your aware, but a huge part of tree on left side of house fell down. I think it happened yesterday. Luckily it missed the house. I took picture to send you. my email is