Leon County

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.

Length: 3.1 miles

Difficulty: 2


© 2020 Mergate Solutions, LLC. All rights reserved.