After camping in my hatchback at a rest area in Alabama I woke up to freezing temperatures around 4:30am and decided to get a head start and hit the road. When I arrived in Florida I decided to keep an eye out for an interesting pit stop to stretch our legs. Nearing Marianna I saw signs for Florida Caverns State Park and that sounded like the perfect detour.
From their website… “This is one of the few state parks with dry (air-filled) caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. The Florida Cavern has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. The Chipola River and Blue Hole spring provide areas for fishing, canoeing and boating. Florida Caverns State Park is popular for camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.”
The Ranger I spoke with at the station was super friendly and helpful. After paying my $4, my pup, Auryn and I went exploring. Due to having the dog with me and time restraints I decided to skip the cave tour and just hike the trails instead.
The hike itself wasn’t very strenuous although there were some obstacles where trees had fallen and blocked the path. You have great views of the wildlife and Florida nature as you meander in the woods, through the cave tunnel and along the river.
It was an invigorating hike and a fantastic pit stop while driving on I10 in the Florida panhandle.