A walk down a long stretch of boardwalk will normally lead you to a pristine Florida beach — but one boardwalk takes you somewhere quite different.
You can unlock your inner Eliza Thornberry and explore a gorgeous hidden rain forest, right here in the
Nestled among the trees in Gainesville, Florida, The Devil's Millhopper State Park will make you feel like you're in a dense but miniature version of a luscious tropical rain forest.
Although sinkholes are common in Florida, this unique sinkhole features over 100 meters of exposed strata rock and sinks 120 feet into the earth.
The boardwalk is built into the sides of the sinkhole, allowing you to venture toward the muddy pools at the bottom and observe all of the lush greenery on the way down.
The sinkhole created a special canopy of trees that cast a soft shade over the entire boardwalk and bottom, which allows the plant life here to thrive — and for you to stay cool while you trek down into the Devil's Millhopper.
You can even see some cute little waterfalls.
The hiking trails are a beautiful way to spend some quality outdoor time nestled in the shade.
If you need an exploration buddy, you can also bring your dog, as long as they're leashed and you pick up after them.
To enter the park, it's $4 per vehicle that seats up to 8 people. Pedestrians or bicyclists get in even cheaper for a mere $2 — making it a really affordable day out.
The Devil's Millhopper Sinkhole is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with the park being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
You can visit the Florida State Parks website prior to your visit to learn about any closures.
The Devil's Millhopper Sinkhole
Price: $4 per vehicle, $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists
Where: 4732 Millhopper Rd. Gainesville, Fl
Why you need to go: Enjoy a nice walk on the park's hiking trails or go see brilliant shades of green in the sinkhole below a picturesque boardwalk.
Editor's note: The cover image was taken in 2016. Recent imagery shows the sinkhole's water levels and colors may vary depending on the time of visit.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on April 4, 2019.