Leon Sinks Geological Area
Water filled caves beneath your feet
Welcome to the fascinating world of karst. The term is applied to terrain that rain and groundwater have changed by dissolving underlying limestone bedrock. The porous limestone bedrock was formed long ago from ancient coral reefs and shell deposits. Rain and groundwater have dissolved the limestone to form sinkholes, swales and underground caverns. The Woodville Karst Plain runs from Tallahassee southward to the Gulf of Mexico. A wet sinkhole is an opening to the Floridan aquifer, which supplies our drinking water.
The water filled caves beneath your feet are a secret home for some unusual creatures- like the cave crayfish, a freshwater eel, and tiny insects like creatures called an amphipod. These are rare species that may exist only in the Woodville Karst Plain.
Three trails await your exploration into this unique natural showcase:
Sinkhole trail- 3.1 Miles marked by a blue blaze
Crossover trail- 0.5 Miles marked by a white blaze
Gumswamp trail- 2.3 Miles marked by a green blaze
Experience all the sights, sounds and scents the geological area provides. A keen observer may see many interesting animals. Busy Carolina chickadees and brown-headed nutcatchers flutter in the branches above as they search for food. A slow moving gopher tortoise shares the sandy ridges with the five-linked skink and the fox squirrel. Crevices and overhangs provide protection for creatures including bats, spiders and moths.
An emerald world of plants and trees greet visitors at Leon Sinks. From the dark, aromatic needles of the longleaf pine to the delicate Venus-hair fern, dense greenery delights the eye and invites you to linger. The observation platform at Big Dismal Sink offers a breathtaking view of more than 75 different plants cascading down the sink's steep walls. In March, notice the beautiful dogwood blossoms and in April and May the majestic southern magnolia blooms. Red and white oak, tupelo, hickory, ash, maple and beech are among the 20 species of trees that grow in this geological area.
Directions: Google Directions
From Tallahassee (downtown): Head south on Monroe Street. Turn right on Gaile Ave (First traffic light just past Leon County Fair Grounds). Turn left on Crawfordville Highway (Route 61). Continue south on Crawfordville Highway, which turns into US 319. Leon Sinks will be on your right off of Crawfordville Highway (US 319) approximately 5.5 miles from Capital Circle SE (the truck route).
From Crawfordville: Head orth on Crawfordville Highway (US 319). Leon Sinks will be on your left just as you enter Leon County.
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|Miles||Trail Name||Short Description|
|6||Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail||From Tallahassee to St. Mark|
|15||Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park Trails||Former plantation lands at the foot of the Red Hills district|
|15||The Florida Trail in the Apalachicola National Forest||Some of the most remote hiking on the Florida Trail|
|16||Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway||Red Hills Region of northern Florida|
|17||Mounds Pool Interpretive Trail||St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge|