When there’s a news story about a sinkhole in Florida, it’s mostly about one “eating” a house or a car dealership. But there are thousands more, and none at quite the scale of Devils Millhopper, just west of downtown Gainesville.. This huge, 120-foot deep, sink, no doubt opened eons ago by a cave-in of the Floridan aquifer, has status as a Geological State Park, and is a wonder to see and experience. Records of modern visitors go back to the 1880’s, but native American no doubt found this ecological wonder much earlier.
In 1976, Devils Millhopper was granted Natural Landmark status by the U.S. Department of the Interior. At the bottom of the sink, depending on weather, recent precipitation and ground water levels, you’ll find a natural rain forest fed by small streams. Around the rim of the sink, there’s a nature trail with benches. . Both the trail and the recently (2019) improved stairs are very popular with hikers and many locals interested in cardio fitness. The $4 per vehicle (for 8 persons) is a small price to pay for your visit. Devils Millhopper Geological State Park is located at 4717 Millhopper Road in Gainesville (32653) and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9AM to 5PM. (Phone: 352-955-2008) Admission is at a remote fee box, and is based on the honor system (please try to bring exact change!)
Before you leave the park, be sure to stop by the park’s informative Visitor Center and learn more about Florida’s water and water resources.