Falling Waters State Park
Huge trees and fern-covered sinkholes line Sink Hole Trail, the boardwalk that leads visitors to Florida's highest waterfall.
Falling Waters Sink is a 100-foot deep, 20-foot wide cylindrical pit into which flows a small stream that drops 73 feet to the bottom of the sink. The water's final destination remains unknown.
Only a few miles south of I-10, the park provides travelers with a quiet, serene stop on their journey. Visitors can see beautiful native and migrating butterflies in the butterfly garden, take a dip in the lake, or have a family picnic. Hikers can experience the verdant, gently sloping landscape of North Florida.
Park rangers host interpretive programs in the amphitheater. Full-facility campsites nestled in a shady pine forest provide the perfect excuse for an overnight stay at Falling Waters State Park.
Birding or bird-watching is a big draw year round to Falling Waters State Park with over 100 birds currently listed as viewed at the park. Birding is a fun and inexpensive hobby enjoyed by all family members. All you need is a pair of sharp eyes and a good set of ears and you are on your way to exploring the park looking for the many varieties of birds that frequent the park. However a pair of binoculars, sunscreen, water and the proper birding clothing will make your birding experience even more enjoyable. Falling Waters State Park is also listed in the Great Florida Birding and Trail, an excellent source for more information on this park and birding.
Located on one of the highest hills in Florida, Pine Ridge Campground at Falling Waters State Park has the highest elevation in the state at 324 ft above sea level. Nestled among the Long Leaf Pine and Dogwoods are 24 campsites. Each site has a picnic table, water, 20/30/50 amp electric service and a burn ring for a relaxing campfire at night. There is also a full facility bathhouse and a dump station for your convenience.
Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
You can also arrive at the park and use any site that are available for camping.
Camping, Primitive Group
A Group Camp is available near Turtle Lake. Amenities include a campfire circle, several picnic tables, fireside benches, and a restroom with toilets and sinks located nearby at the swimming area. The group camp can accomodate up to 60 people. Call the park at (850) 638-6130 to make reservations.
Falling Waters State Park has two pavillions that are well suited for family reunions and other get togethers. They have electric and water and are also located close to an accessible restroom for your convenience. They are available on a first come, first serve basis or can be reserved for a fee. Call the office at 850-638-6130 for information and availability.
You may not catch a record setting Bass but fishing is still fun at Falling Waters State park. The two acre lake at the park has plenty great fishing spots and all you need is your gear and a Florida Freshwater Fishing License. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.
Operation Recreation GeoTour
There are three short nature trails that meander through Falling Waters State Park. These trails will take you around 100 ft deep sink holes, the tallest waterfall in Florida and many other points of interest. In total there is about one mile of trail to hike but part of what makes these trails unique is the park's topography. There are few parks in Florida that can rival Falling Waters State Park when it comes to hills which can make hiking challenging for guests.
There are picnic tables located at the picnic area and lake as well as under the two pavillions for your convenience. They are located close to ADA accessible bathrooms. The picnic area also has a playground to keep the kids happy.
Falling Waters State Park has a two acre freshwater lake with a white sand beach that offers park guests a cool place to escape the Florida heat. The swimming area also has a shower to rinse, picnic tables and a bathroom to change into your swimming attire.
Falling Waters State Park provides a memorable venue to exchange vows in one of the most unique settings in Florida. Over the years many couples have married on the waterfall overlook. There are no fees except for the regular park entrance of $5 per vehicle. The park does have reservable pavilions available for your reception needs. Please contact the ranger station at 850-638-6130 for more information.
Falling Waters State Park is not only a great location to do a little birding, it is also a great place to see all the other animals the Florida panhandle has to offer. Some of the mammals you may see would include deer, fox and the fox squirrel. The park is also full of lizards, turtles and an occasional snake. All plants and animals are protected in the park for future generations to enjoy.
Throughout the year Park Rangers give interpretive programs on a wide variety of subject matter, from snakes to long leaf pines. It also gives park guests the opportunity to ask question about Falling Waters State Park like, "Why is the waterfall just dripping?" Look for information in park kiosks or inquire at the ranger station for time and locations of the programs.
There is a modern playground located at the rear of the picnic area. There is also a swing and slide available for childrens enjoyment.
There are ADA accessible restrooms at the lake and picnic area. There is also a bathhouse located in the campground for campers with full amenities including hot water showers.
The state of Florida is rich in sites of historic significance and Falling Waters State Park is no exception. At the park you'll see remnants of the first oil well ever drilled in Florida along with parts of a grist mill that operated in the 1860s. An Archeological Survey of the park turned up artifacts dating back over 5,000 years of ancient Native American civilizations that called Falling Waters and the surrounding area home.
There are many interepretive exhibits at Falling Waters State Park to help tell the rich story of this unique part of Florida. These exhibits located throughout the park include the oil well, grist mill, butterfly, bat, birding, prescribed fire, waterfall and kiosks that have seasonal exhibits for your enjoyment.
Falling Waters State Park like all the parks in the Florida Park Service are pet friendly. Pets must be kept on a 6ft long leash and be well behaved at all times. The park also requests that you pick up your pets droppings as a courtesy to other park guests and help with keep this park as clean as possible.
Falling Waters State Park has two reservable pavillions located in the picnic area. They are also conveniently located close to an accessible restroom facility. They are first come first served if not reserved. Please contact the ranger station at 850-638-6130 to check availability.
Falling Waters State Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media