Activities

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Bicycling icon

Florida Caverns - Bicycling

Multi-Use Trails: Horseback riding, bicycling and walking are just some ways to view the beautiful scenery of Florida Caverns State Park. Tour several miles of multi-use trails while viewing natural wonders such as floodplains, sinkholes, rivers and Karst topography. View a wide variety of plants and animals as you journey through these unchanged natural areas. A trail map is available at the designated entrances to these trails as well as the Ranger Station. The Upper Chipola Recreational Trail system has been established through a cooperative effort between Northwest Florida Water Management District and Florida Caverns State Park. Volunteers and staff maintain the trails and invite you to ride horses, bicycle and walk while enjoying the Real Florida. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.  Please remember that flowers are for everyone, insects bite, trails have wet areas and moving water is dangerous!

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Florida Caverns - Boating

A boat ramp is located between the park entrance station and the family camping area. Only small boats are recommended to launch from this area due to water levels and possible underwater hazards along the Chipola River. Boaters can take a leisurely tour along the river, fish and view a variety of wildlife. Traveling south under the bridge at the boat ramp is not recommended. Large boats are not recommended in the river.

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Florida Caverns - Campfire Circles

Memorial Day to Labor Day, Park Rangers offer a wide variety of programs on Saturday evenings for your enjoyment. Please call 850-482-1228 the week of your visit to find out times and subjects.

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Florida Caverns - Camping

This 1,319-acre park has 35 campsites with electric and water hookups available for RV and tent camping. Three sites are RV/trailer only and three sites are tent-only. There are stables for visitors who bring their horses by three of the RV/tent sites. Pets are welcome. Multiuse trails near the campgrounds offer six miles of exploration for hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders in the woodlands along the Chipola River.

Maximum RV length = 40 ft.

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.

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Florida Caverns - Camping Equestrian

This 1,319-acre park has 35 campsites with electric and water hookups available for RV and tent camping. Three sites are RV/trailer only and three sites are tent-only. There are stables for visitors who bring their horses by three of the RV/tent sites. Pets are welcome.

Multi-use trails near the campgrounds offer seven miles of exploration for hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders in the woodlands along the Chipola River.

Maximum RV length = 45 ft.

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.

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Florida Caverns - Camping, Primitive Grp

The Youth Camp, located near the visitor center, accommodates 100 campers. Two toilets, a cold shower, a water faucet, picnic tables and two large fire pits are located in the camping area. Call the park for reservations at (850) 482-1228.

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Florida Caverns - Canoeing and Kayaking

Canoe rentals on the scenic Chipola River are available every day, ask for information at the Ranger Station.  Take a leisurely tour up this Outstanding Florida Waterway and experience more of the "Real Florida" . A wide variety of flora and fauna can be observed during your trip. Herons, egrets, alligators, beavers, and snakes are just a few common sites you will see as you travel upstream through this wonderful natural community. Canoe rentals are available at the park entrance station or Visitor Center and can be rented for half day and full day trips.

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Florida Caverns - Concession and Restaurant

The park's concession is located below the historic Visitor Center. Refreshments and souvenirs are available. This is also the location where you can purchase your tickets to go on a cave tour.

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Florida Caverns - Fishing

Fishing is available at the boat ramp located on Blue Hole Drive. A variety of fish, such as bass, catfish, sunfish, mullet, etc. can be caught from this area. A unique river sink is located here, where the Chipola River sinks 90 feet below the surface and finally reappears ½ mile downstream. Prior to the early 1900s, a ½ mile natural land bridge existed where the Chipola River disappeared into a sinkhole. Evidently at that time, a " log run" was created across the natural land bridge for the purpose of floating felled timber downstream to a nearby sawmill. Please be sure to know your limits and follow all rules and regulations while fishing at Florida Caverns State Park.

 

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.

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Florida Caverns - Geo-Seeking

The Operation Recreation GeoTour hosted by Geocaching.com, stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 of the First Three Time National Gold Medal Award Winning Florida State Parks and Trails. Visit 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Download and print the Official Tracking Sheet to begin your adventure. Remember to cache and save with unlimited entry for a year with the Florida State Parks Annual Pass.

The Florida Park Service is proud to announce it has launched the Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Look inside Operation Recreation GeoTour geocaches for one of six possible Nature Cards. Every cache has one of six species. Record the name of the Florida State Park where you first find each of the six species on the Kids Official Tracking Sheet. Find all six species and win the ORGT Kids GeoTour Geocoin!

Nine parks were built by the CCC and Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Search for all nine caches and end at the CCC Museum at Highlands Hammock State Park and receive a commemorative geocoin.

GC codes:

Fort Clinch State Park: GC38Y93

Florida Caverns State Park: GC3BG4G

Highlands Hammock State Park: GC3D02X

Hillsborough River State Park: GC3BG4A

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park: GC3ABB5

Myakka River State Park: GC3BG4N

O’Leno State Park: GC3ABBC

Ravine Gardens State Park: GC38Y8V

Torreya State Park: GC3BG4E

Florida State Parks: GC38Y9F

FINAL CCC Cache – located in Highlands Hammock State Park.

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Florida Caverns - Hiking Nature Trail

The park offers two nature trails that allow you to explore the beautiful rocky bluffs that tower above the river floodplain. Both trails start at the Visitor Center. The terrain is steep in places and considered mildly strenuous. Because the bluffs are such a unique environment many rare species of plants can be seen. The trails are for foot traffic only.

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Florida Caverns - Horse Equestrian Trail

An Equestrian Facility is Located in the center of the multi-use trail system. Horseback riders can enjoy the use of stables. A wash rack is located directly behind these stables to clean and cool the horses after a hard day's work. Restrooms and picnic shelters are also nearby for your convenience. Equestrian camping is available. Please be sure to bring proof of negative Coggins for each horse. At this time the park does not rent horses. Horses are restricted to trails.

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Florida Caverns - Picnic Pavilion

There are five pavilions that may be reserved in advance for special events.

The Hickory Shelter has a restroom facility and a playground nearby.

The Horse Camp Shelter is located directly across from the Blue Hole swimming Area.

Other shelters include Beech Shelter and the Sweetgum Shelter.

Picnic shelter prices are as follows:
Large shelter: Hickory Shelter (holds between 60-100 people) $60.00/day + tax.

Small Shelters: Sweetgum, Horse Camp, and Beech (holds between 30-60 people) are $30.00/day + tax.

Contact the Ranger Station for shelter reservations and dates.

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Florida Caverns - Picnicking

Six (6) picnic areas are located throughout the park for your enjoyment. Tables and grills are available on a first-come, first -served basis. There are five (5) pavilions that may be reserved in advance for a special event. The Hickory Shelter has a restroom facility and a playground nearby. The Horse Camp Shelter is located directly across from the Blue Hole swimming Area. Other Shelters include Beech Shelter and the Sweetgum Shelter. Picnic shelter prices are as follows: Large shelter-Hickory Shelter (holds between 60-100 people) $60.00/day + tax and the small shelters- Sweetgum, Horse Camp, and Beech (holds between 30-60 people) are $30.00/day + tax. Contact the Ranger Station for shelter reservations and dates.

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Florida Caverns - Playground

There is a playground within the park, which has state of the art equipment, and benches for sitting.

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Florida Caverns - Shower Station

Public showers are provided at the Blue Hole day-use area.

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Florida Caverns - Tours

Guided tours of the cave are offered year round except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Tours leave from the Visitor Center, which opens at 9:00 a.m. each day. Tour sizes are limited to 25 people per tour.  Cave Tours are offered on a first-come first-serve basis except for groups of 20 or more on Monday-Friday arranged a minimum of three weeks ahead.  Please contact the Gift Shop at 850-526-2650 for group reservations.  Visit www.floridacavernsgiftshop.com for general tour information. Tour fees: 0-2 years of age-free, 3-12 $5.00 each, 13 and up $8.00 each. Groups of 20 or more with prepaid reservations are $3.75 plus tax per person (Monday-Friday only, weekends excluded).  NOTE: Please be aware our cave tours sometime sell out so please call our Ranger Station prior to departing for the park to ensure that all tours have not sold out for that day (850) 482-1228.  Please arrive early in the day for ample tour times and to enjoy the many other park amenities!

Tours depart near the Visitor Center where participants learn the precautions of the tour including having to stoop many times to pass through areas with a ceiling height of 4 1/2 feet for distances as far as 15 feet in length, narrow passages, 50 descending steps (possibly 50 ascending if the tour is modified due to high water conditions), slippery walkways, and the importance of not touching anything inside the fragile cave environment as there are not handrails for the 15 steps inside the cave.  Participants walk 350 feet to the cave entrance and down 35 steps using a handrail.  Entering the caverns, it takes a few moments to become acclimated to the dimly-lit environment and year-round 65-degree temperature.  The tour moves at a leisurely pace through a dozen cave rooms where the visitors pause for information and about the cave's history, early uses, and interesting geological formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstone.  Participants occasionally even get to encounter some of the animals that call the cave home such as bats, mice, cave crickets, salamanders, cave spiders, and the occasional snake or frog.  As the tour concludes, participants ascend a 15-degree walkway to emerge into a dense hardwood forest and enjoy a self-paced walk back to the Visitor Center and parking area.  An audio-visual tour of the cave and nature trails is offered in the museum of the Visitors Center for those who would rather enjoy the tour from the comfort of the theater.  Come experience the beauty of Florida Caverns State Park today!

Participation Requirements

 

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Florida Caverns - Visitor Center

The attractive Visitor Center provides historical interpretation in its walk-through museum and large screen video tour of the caverns. The Civilian Conservation Corps completed this park facility in 1942. The museum displays a large variety of exhibits offering cultural and natural resource information.