“A floodplain trail featuring Tunnel Cave; only place in Florida where a hiking trail intentionally goes through a cave.”
— Ryan Spr
The cave tour is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Trails are still accessible 7 days a week from 8 am-5 pm. The trail is accessible even if the cave is closed.
Features: Birding — Cave — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Once through/beyond the Tunnel Cave, the Bluff Trail begins. Note that the trail is accessible if the cave is closed. The trail is only 3/4-mile in length but can be rugged with elevation changes and loose terrain in places. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful and unique Florida trail.
One will pass several (fenced) cave entrances as you pass crevice-filled, twenty-foot limestone karst bluffs above the Chipola River floodplain. The trail is framed by magnificent hardwoods and vertical bluffs above the floodplain, which descends to swampland where Tupelo Gums stand firm in the wet soils.
A cross trail (Shortcut Trail) leads back to the parking lot if one wishes to avoid the Tunnel Cave.
Flora & Fauna
Floodplain swamp and forest and upland hardwoods. The park has a diverse fauna with over 250 vertebrate species recorded. This is due to the presence of continental and peninsular animals, and also the habitat diversity created by the Chipola River floodplain and numerous limestone outcroppings. Among the park’s most unusual species are the Barbour’s map turtle in the Chipola River and the blind cave salamander, which occurs in aquatic caves.