Turquoise pools and steep sided sink holes await hikers on the short, scenic Sinkhole Trail through the Leon Sinks Geological Area. Follow the path of the powerful underground waterways that formed this uncommon landscape. Years of rain and groundwater dissolved the underlying limestone bedrock creating underground caves which form the unique karst terrain.
The sinks’ impressive nature extends far below the pools visible from the trail. Cave divers discovered a link between Leon Sinks and nearby Wakulla Springs, making it the longest, mapped underwater cave system in North America at 28 miles long. Divers also found that the Hammock Sink Cave system, visible from the Sinkhole Trail, has an underwater, white limestone room large enough to house a six-story building.
Visitors of all ages can enjoy this trail near Tallahassee, Fla. The well-groomed trail winds its way through flowering dogwoods, southern magnolia, oaks, tupelo, hickory, ash, maple and beech trees and over recently renovated boardwalks to observatory platforms for viewing the sinkholes. Both wet and dry sinks are visible from the trail.
Plants and animals abound, making the Sinkhole Trail perfect for nature enthusiasts and photographers. Visit during the morning or early evening for the best viewing conditions, and in summer bring your insect repellent. If you are pressed for time, visit Hammock sink, then turn back. For the full experience, continue onto Gum Swamp Trail to complete the loop and return to the parking area.
Amenities: Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Drinking Water, Parking
Operating Hours: Daylight use only
Fee: $3 per person (Federal Fee Area)
Sinkhole Trail (north half of loop) is 2.5 miles long; Gum Swamp Trail (south half of loop) is 1.7 miles long; Crossover Trail (west to east) at 0.5 miles cuts through the middle
Interpretive signs describe karst geology and plant and wildlife
Swimming is not permitted in the sinkholes.