Plan a Trip to See Beautiful Waterfalls in Florida

Florida is most famous for its sunshine, beaches, and amusement parks, and it also has the flattest terrain of any U.S. state, so you might be surprised to learn that Florida is home to several waterfalls.

Given its year-round great weather, there are so many things to do in Florida that involve the outdoors, but one thing you may not have considered is taking a trip to see waterfalls at Florida’s state parks.

While you shouldn’t expect Niagara Falls, these waterfalls are a rare occurrence and beautiful in their own right.


Preparing for Your Trip to See Florida’s Waterfalls

Getting to the waterfalls in Florida will involve traversing some hiking trails, potentially on uneven terrain. Wear comfortable hiking shoes or sneakers and consider bringing a walking stick to help with balance. You may also want to bring a rain jacket or umbrella if going during Florida’s rainy season, which is recommended if you want to see the best water flow. (Rainy season in Florida spans May to October.)

And don’t forget to bring water! It’s important to stay hydrated, particularly if you plan to visit during the summer months when the heat and humidity are high. An insulated water bottle will keep your water cold throughout your visit.

Depending on whether you’ll be spending a few hours or a few days at your destination, it might be fun to rent an RV or bring equipment for camping and stay overnight to make it even more of an adventure! Florida’s state parks will have entrance fees and additional fees for campsites, so it’s a good idea to bring some cash with you. Discounts may be available for seniors and military veterans.


Top Beautiful Florida Waterfalls to Explore

Florida has lots of wonders to explore, but these are a few of our favorite Florida waterfall destinations.


Falling Waters State Park

Located in the Florida Panhandle, Falling Waters State Park has the tallest waterfall in Florida at 73 feet tall. The Sink Hole Trail boardwalk will lead you to an observation deck where you can marvel at the 100-foot-deep, 20-foot-wide sinkhole where the stream drops to the cave below.

Other things to enjoy at Falling Waters State Park include a butterfly garden, a two-acre lake for fishing and swimming, and camping. You can also go birding, geocaching, and picnicking.


Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs might not have natural waterfalls, but it doesn’t make them any less impressive. The three man-made waterfalls can be seen from the park’s 2.5 mile nature trail, along with Rainbow River, a natural spring, and lots of flowers, large trees, and native plants.

Rainbow Springs was formerly a privately owned attraction, but since opening to the public in the 1990s anyone can enjoy the scenery, as well as activities like tubing, swimming, and camping.

The park is easily accessible from Ocala and less than 2 hours from Tampa.


Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Just 1.5 hours from Jacksonville, in Gainesville, Florida, a series of waterfalls trickle down the enormous sinkhole located at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. The 500-foot wide and 120-foot deep sinkhole leads to a miniature rainforest and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Sinkholes may be common in Florida, but Devil’s Millhopper is unique due to its more than 100 feet of exposed rock layers. View the sinkhole from the half-mile nature trail that winds along the top or use the 236-step wooden stairway to go down to the bottom of the Devil's Millhopper.

To make the most of your visit, participate in a guided walk with a Park Ranger. They’re available Saturdays at 10 a.m. or special guided walks for groups are available by reservation.

If you love the outdoors, Florida is a great place to visit or live. There’s so much more to discover about the Sunshine State. Learn more about Del Webb’s 55+ communities in Florida and find your next new home in the area.



Contributed to The 55+ Society 

Looking for more Society tips and learnings? Return Home here.

Published 9.24.19

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