Falling Waters State Park, located three miles south of the town of Chipley, boasts Florida’s tallest waterfall at 73 feet. In addition to the waterfall, the park contains several prominent sinkholes, hiking trails, lake and campground. Conveniently located just a few minutes from I-10, this park offers a pleasant diversion for visitors whether its a short visit or an overnight stay.
Waterfalls and Sinkholes
Although the waterfall is the main attraction, it is highly dependent on rainfall. During a dry spell there may be little if any flow at all, so be sure to call ahead to check the status of the falls. Even dry, the deep sinkhole that the waterfall disappears into is still impressive. Boardwalks and staircases allow visitors to navigate down to the falls and to explore the surrounding sinkholes from a safe distance.
Another pleasant surprise on the waterfall and sinkhole trails is the abundance of ferns, liverworts and mosses that give the area an almost carpet-like effect in some places. A keen eye may even spot the lizards and frogs that call this vital ecosystem home.
After touring the boardwalks visitors can explore the Wiregrass trail as it winds past the remains of a failed oil well drilling attempt made in 1919. A bit farther along the trail is a 2 acre lake, small sand beach and swimming area perfect for cooling off during the hot summer months. Fishing is permitted for those with a valid Florida fishing license.
Continuing past the lake on the Terrace trail will take you to the park’s campground.
Campers can choose from one of 24 campsites the park has to offer. All are equipped with water, electricity, picnic tables and grills. The downside of this campground is that the sites are rather close together giving it a cramped feeling.
While in the area be sure to visit nearby Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna. Visitors can explore caves, camp, hike and bike a variety of trails, fish and even rent a canoe to explore the upper section of the Chipola River. Also, a stop at nearby Merritt Mill Pond is not to be missed with its multitude of freshwater springs, including Jackson Blue Springs Recreation Area.