*Updated at 2:27pm on 6/5/19: The boardwalk is finally open! Read about the details here.
Walking 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 mini hidden rain forest, right here in the Sunshine State.
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 mini waterfalls.
Check out how absolutely gorgeous this mini Florida rain forest is below:
If you need an exploration buddy, you can also bring your dog!
Due to damage from Hurricane Irma, the boardwalk down into the sinkhole is currently closed and being reassembled; however, there are still plenty of stunning views down into the sinkhole from the surface and various hiking and walking trails to hike the Devil's Millhopper State Park.
*The boardwalk is currently scheduled to reopen Summer of 2019 — so don't forget to add this gorgeous place to your summer bucket list of Florida adventures. If you have an itch for adventure that needs scratching right now, the walking trails still offer some gorgeous sights. You can see some picturesque shots from the walking trails below:
To enter the park, it's $4 per vehicle that seats up to 8 people, which is super cheap to be able to explore this hidden treasure. Pedestrians or bicyclists get in even cheaper for a mere $2 — making it a really affordable day out.
The Devil's Millhopper Sinkhole is located at 4732 Millhopper Rd., Gainesville, Florida and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with the park being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
For more information about The Devil's Millhopper, check out their website here.
Disclaimer: We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.