Published February 6, 2018 2/6/2018

Discover Myakka River State Park's Mysterious "Deep Hole" in Sarasota

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If you’re up for a true Florida adventure, Myakka River State Park has an off the beaten path hike where an impressive amount of alligators mysteriously like to congregate, and no one knows why.

This unique to Florida scene is so special that the park only allows 30 people per day to visit the area.

Myakka River State Park
Credit: Walter
Myakka River State Park

About 2 miles down a dirt road and without the help of any signs, you’ll be confronted with a lush hammock of trees and a dramatic opening to what is known as “Deep Hole” in the 7,500-acre wilderness preserve part of Myakka River State Park. The spectacular view takes effort, as regular tour companies don’t visit this area.

Myakka River State Park
Credit: Mwanner
Myakka River State Park

The mysterious Deep Hole is a massive, 200-foot wide sinkhole where you’ll find a range of small to very large gators sunbathing and gliding across the water. While the depth of the sinkhole is said to be around 130 foot deep, this figure may not be correct since there hasn’t been anyone willing to go diving in it to find out.

Credit: mbarrison
Deep Hole, Myakka

You won’t just find a few gators lurking the area, researchers have counted up to 120 at one time. In a scene you can only describe as spectacular, picture hundreds of ominous prehistoric looking predators with leathery skin, massive jaws, and beady eyes contrasted with the lush green Florida landscape, blue skies, and bright colored birds. Deep Hole is a landscape like no other and will certainly leave a lasting impression.

Credit: mbarrison
Myakka Deep Hole

These American alligators, native only to the Southeast of the US, are present throughout the entire Myakka Park. However, Deep Hole is considered a complete mystery because they aren’t sure why the gators love to congregate in this spot so much.

Myakka River State Park
Myakka River State Park

Due to Deep Hole being one of the best spots in Florida to watch gators in their natural habitat, this also means you have to be extra mindful of your safety. While these gators prefer to dine on birds, turtles, and fish and not humans, you’ll see signs posted throughout the park reminding you that you’re a visitor in their home and to take precautions near the water and feeding the gators is not only against the law but very dangerous.

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