Florida Caverns State Park, located in the heart of the Sunshine State, offers a unique and exciting camping experience for visitors of all ages. This park provides a rare opportunity for intrepid campers to explore its fascinating underground caverns while also enjoying the natural beauty of its lush, green surroundings.

Campers can enjoy various guided tours of the park’s subterranean features, such as stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones, which have evolved over thousands of years.

Above ground, guests can explore outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and swimming, or simply relax and revel in the serene atmosphere of this natural oasis.

With its convenient location in Marianna, Florida, this park is easily accessible for a weekend getaway or a more extended stay. Read on to discover what exciting experiences you’ll have when you visit Florida Caverns State Park!

Florida Caverns State ParkFlorida Caverns State Park

Campgrounds and Amenities

RV and Equestrian Camping

At Florida Caverns State Park, campers can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings while having convenient access to modern amenities. The park offers a well-equipped campground that accommodates both RV and Equestrian camping.

This campground features 35 spacious sites for RVs, complete with electricity and water hookups, and a separate area for equestrian campers with six horse stalls and parking for trailers.

The campsites come with various amenities to make your stay more comfortable, including a picnic table and a fire ring with grill for outdoor cooking. Campers can enjoy leisurely meals surrounded by nature at these tables or simply relax and take in the picturesque surroundings.


The Florida Caverns State Park provides numerous amenities to ensure that campers have a pleasant and enjoyable stay. These include:

Restrooms and Showers

The campground features clean, well-maintained restroom facilities, and hot showers for campers to freshen up after a long day of exploring the park.

Dump Station

A conveniently located dump station is available for RV campers to maintain their vehicles during their stay.


Adequate parking space is provided around the campground for both RV and equestrian campers.

Picnicking Areas

Pine Forest Picnic TablePine Forest Picnic Table

Scattered throughout the park are numerous picnic areas, where visitors can enjoy a delightful meal or snack amidst the natural setting.

Cave Tours

Florida Caverns State Park offers guided cave tours that take visitors on an extraordinary journey through the park’s underground chambers, featuring geological formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, draperies, and soda straws.

Tour Schedules and Fees

The cavern tours are provided all year long, with a few exceptions during major holidays and certain periods for maintenance. The tours are conducted at regular intervals throughout the day, allowing visitors to select the best time to fit into their schedules.

For an up-to-date tour schedule, contact the Visitor Center or check the park’s official website.

Safety Guidelines for Cave Tours

To ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone participating in the cave tours, the following safety guidelines have been established:

  1. All participants must be accompanied by a park guide throughout the tour.
  2. Participants should wear appropriate footwear, as the cavern floors can be uneven and slippery.
  3. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times during the tour.
  4. Photography is allowed; however, the use of tripods, monopods, or selfie sticks is prohibited.
  5. Touching or climbing on the cave formations is strictly forbidden, as it can cause damage to the delicate ecosystem.

Visitors who follow the guidelines and enjoy the magnificent sights of the caverns responsibly will be rewarded with unforgettable memories of their time exploring the underground wonders of Florida Caverns State Park.

Other Recreational Activities

Florida Caverns State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities to keep visitors entertained and engaged with nature. Some of the most popular activities at the park include swimming and boating, hiking and horseback riding, and fishing.

Swimming and Boating

The park features the beautiful Chipola River, which offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. The Blue Hole spring also provides a refreshing swimming experience.

Kayaking in FloridaKayaking in Florida

Remember to bring your own canoe or kayak as rentals are not available within the park. The Blue Hole and Chipola River are both excellent spots to cool off during the hot summer months.

Hiking and Horseback Riding

For those looking to explore the park’s natural beauty on foot or on horseback, Florida Caverns State Park has over five miles of hiking trails and eight miles of horseback riding trails. Hikers can enjoy scenic views and the unique opportunity to see the park’s cave formations up close.

Horseback riders can take advantage of the park’s equestrian trails, which meander through picturesque settings and stunning landscapes. Please note that visitors must bring their own horses, as there are no horse rentals available within the park.


Anglers can try their luck at catching largemouth bass, catfish, and bream in the Chipola River. Fishing is permitted in designated areas, and visitors must follow all Florida fishing regulations. Don’t forget to bring your fishing gear, as the park doesn’t offer rental equipment.

In addition to these recreation options, Florida Caverns State Park also features a children’s playground area, making it a perfect destination for families seeking a fun and educational outdoor experience.

The Stables

For equestrian enthusiasts, Florida Caverns State Park boasts stables that offer a fantastic opportunity to explore the park’s beauty on horseback. The stables are well-maintained and provide a safe environment for both experienced riders and beginners.

Horseback RidingHorseback Riding

Under the supervision of skilled staff, visitors can embark on guided trail rides that allow them to take in the park’s breathtaking landscapes while bonding with their four-legged companions.

Amenities at the stables include:

  • Professional staff assistance
  • Guided trail rides
  • Horse rental options
  • Adequate facilities for boarding and care

Making Reservations

Florida Caverns State Park offers both first-come, first-served campsites and sites that can be reserved in advance.

Campers who choose first-come, first-served sites should arrive early at the park to secure a spot, particularly during peak travel seasons. Keep in mind that these sites can be limited in availability and are not guaranteed.

Here’s a brief summary of the reservation process:

  • Use the online reservation system or call the park directly
  • Book early, especially during peak seasons
  • First-come, first-served campsites are available, but may be limited

Wildlife and Environment

The Caves’ Unique Formations

Florida Caverns State Park is home to a series of stunning caves, which boast a variety of unique limestone formations. The most notable formations within the caves include stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and other mesmerizing features.

Limestone stalactites are among the most eye-catching formations in the caves. They form over time as water drips from the ceiling, depositing dissolved minerals. As these minerals accumulate, they create icicle-like structures that hang downwards and grow as minerals continue to be deposited.

Local Fauna

The caves and surrounding environment provide a haven for a diverse array of animals. Bats are often found within the caves, where they take shelter during the day and hunt for insects at night. As natural predators of insects, bats play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the local ecosystem.

Cave SalamanderCave Salamander

In addition to bats, Florida Caverns State Park is also home to a variety of salamanders. These amphibians thrive in the moist conditions found within and around the caves, where they feed on insects and other small invertebrates.

The park’s lush surroundings support other wildlife like birds, reptiles, and mammals. This rich biodiversity makes Florida Caverns State Park a fantastic destination for nature enthusiasts and those looking to appreciate the wonders of Florida’s wildlife and cave formations.

The Park’s History

The Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program during the Great Depression, played a significant role in the development of Florida Caverns State Park.

Established in the 1930s, the CCC provided jobs to young, unemployed men, who worked on numerous conservation and natural resource development projects. At Florida Caverns State Park, the CCC workers built park structures, roads, and bridges.

They also excavated, developed, and installed lighting in the caverns to make them accessible to the public.

Hurricane Michael’s Impact

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated Florida’s Panhandle region, including Florida Caverns State Park. The Category Five storm heavily damaged park infrastructure, downed trees, and forced the park to close temporarily. The park’s museum, which houses various exhibits, was also affected by the hurricane.

Post-hurricane, the park has undergone significant recovery efforts. Staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to clear debris, repair damaged facilities, and restore the park to its former beauty.

Today, Florida Caverns State Park continues to serve as a popular destination for campers and outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate the park’s unique geological formations and natural beauty.

Wrapping up Florida Caverns State Park

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned camper, Florida Caverns State Park is sure to leave a lasting impression with its wealth of diverse activities and captivating scenery.

Embarking on an adventure to this park is an experience that will delight nature enthusiasts and those seeking a truly unique getaway in a spectacular setting. Next, check out A Guide to Florida State Parks Camping to learn how to get the most out of your Florida State Park experience.

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