Walk the Nature Trail
Many people come to Devil’s Millhopper with one thought - descending into the sinkhole. However, a lesser known trail will not only let you experience a unique perspective on the sinkhole from above, but also walk through a beautiful upland pine forest that is more reminiscent of the Appalachian Mountains than it is of north-central Florida. Ramblers on this 0.6-mile loop will hear water rushing from the many small waterfalls down into the sinkhole, the calls of songbirds and the sweet sound of the wind rushing through the trees. Sitting and listening is encouraged to fully take in the silence around you- we guarantee you will feel relaxed in this urban oasis of peace and quiet.
Those with an observant eye will be able to see some of the natural and cultural resources that the park is here to protect and preserve, such as the quick flick of a friendly garter snake disappearing into the underbrush, or the flash of a red-bellied woodpecker. Use your imagination as you cross the bridge to envision how the Native Americans once used this site for hunting and as a water source, and pay attention to the slopes of the sink where shells and fossils have often been found - remnants of a time long past when Florida was underwater.
Grab a self-guided tour guide at the visitor center and embark on a scavenger hunt for trees, learning interesting facts about the native plants that make Devil’s Millhopper so unique. In less than a mile, you will encounter everything from rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum) to common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) to swamp bay (Persea palustris). The rich diversity of plant life found in this park is rare- in fact 12 different species of oaks can be found on this trail alone! The dense shade, moist soil and abundant streams provide a habitat that is both fertile and entirely distinct here in Florida.
So if you need to stretch your legs and refresh your mind, come take a walk on the Devil’s Millhopper Nature Trail. You will see a spectacular sinkhole, and hear the trickling of water and the wildlife on this wonderful walk, all while helping to preserve this geological wonder so that it may continue to be here for generations to come.