Looking down into the sinkhole at Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park is a 63-acre park established around the site of a large sinkhole: 120 feet deep and 500 feet across. As a large part of the Florida peninsula sits on a limestone foundation, that limestone washes out in places and creates sinkholes. Scientists exploring this particular sinkhole have found marine shells, fossilized sharks teeth and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals. The Devil's Millhopper sinkhole is also now a designated National Natural Landmark.

Visitors can visit the Visitor Center and learn about the sinkhole through the various displays and exhibits. Or they can take the walk: 220 steps down to the bottom of the sinkhole and 220 steps back up. Along the way you might come across tree frogs, squirrels, wild turkeys and even white-tailed deer living among the vegetation. There is also a half-mile trail that loops around the rim of the sinkhole. One really interesting aspect of this bowl-shaped cavity is that it is very much like a mini-rainforest with small streams trickling down the walls through small waterfalls, only to disappear into cracks in the limestone formations at the bottom.

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday only. Admission fees: $4 per vehicle with a maximum of eight occupants; $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. You'll want exact change because you'll be paying into an honor box. Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park is located on NW 53rd Avenue (State Road 232) about 2 miles northwest of Gainesville.