Falling Waters State Park is tucked away in Florida’s Panhandle about an hour away from the coast, in Chipley. Home to many astounding natural wonders, including one of the most impressive waterfalls in Florida. The waterfall cascades into a gaping opening and offers scenic paths that wind around other sinkholes that are millions of years old, making this a must-see, hidden gem within the Sunshine State. Beautiful native butterflies flock to the garden, greenery envelopes the trails and modern conveniences have been added to make your day, or week here a blast.
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Contradictory to when we like to visit other parks, it’s best to visit this Florida State Park when it’s raining. The namesake 73-foot waterfall is at its most powerful when showers roll through, and often a rainbow will bend over the gorgeous flow of h20. Disappearing into a dark sinkhole below, it’s quite the stunning show. Falling Waters State Park touts the privilege of housing the state’s tallest waterfall. Hike the Wire Grass boardwalk trail to get to the falls—it’s easy enough for young kids as well. Be prepared to get misted if you choose the lower platform.
Bass, catfish and bream thrive in the lake, which is partially responsible for fueling the famed waterfall. Be sure you have a Florida fishing license and that you only cast your line in designated fishing areas. Specific swimming areas have also been roped off for safety purposes and can be a fun place to spend hotter days. Picnic tables and restrooms are on site, and relaxing walking trails are nearby.
Twenty four campsites are available and can be reserved in advance through Florida Park Service’s Central Reservation System. Guests have access to picnic tables, grills, a play area, campfire space, and can enjoy park ranger demonstrations at the amphitheater as part of their stay. Since the area was occupied during the Civil War era, an abundance of historical remnants remain on display or simply scattered amongst the park. A grist mill was once powered by the waterfall itself, and there used to be an old distillery onsite. When hiking through the native ferns and northern Florida foliage, you may spot mimosa, Japanese privet and date palm plants from the nursery that used to be here in the 1930s.
Falling Waters State Park:
Address: 1130 State Park Road, Chipley, Florida 32428