Monday, May 11, 2015

Floridian Nature Spot of the Week: Falling Waters State Park

Beautiful Floridian nature awaits you at Falling Waters State Park. Hikers can experience the verdant, gently sloping landscape of North Florida. Huge trees and fern-covered sinkholes line Sink Hole Trail, the boardwalk that leads visitors to Florida's highest waterfall. Falling Waters Sink is a 100-foot deep, 20-foot wide cylindrical pit into which flows a small stream that drops 73 feet to the bottom of the sink. The water's final destination remains unknown.

During the 1778 British occupation of Florida, Native Americans were still living on Falling Waters Hill and the surrounding area. Though they left no written records, artifacts are often found whenever a field is tilled.  In 1919, one of the first oil wells in Florida was drilled at Falling Waters. Indian legends and a wildcat stock promoter’s claim of oil, helped get the project going. A Tall, wooden derrick and steam driven rigs were used to drill for oil, but the drillers had little luck. When a depth of 3,900 feet was reached, a blow of gas released from the drill site temporarily excited area residents with a false report of a gusher. Promoters continued to drill the oil well to a final depth of 4,912 feet. When all was said and done, no oil of commercial quality was ever found. The well was capped in 1921.  The terrestrial caves of the park are documented roosting sites for the southeastern bat.

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