The state of Florida is rich in historical significance and one of the best places to learn about some of Florida’s history is Falling Waters State Park. There is a 73-foot waterfall within the park that once powered a grist mill where early settlers turned corn into grits and cornmeal, which are both a southern delicacies. A legal whiskey distillery was also powered by the waterfall, providing spirits for trade and enjoyment. You can find the remnants of the machinery they used and some of the tools that made it possible to farm and grow crops still at the park today. Falling Waters State Park is home to the highest waterfall in the state of Florida.
It is not a large park, with only 171 acres of land to call its own, but there are still many things that you can do on your visit here. Plenty of outdoor activities are available such as fishing, hiking, biking, going to the man-made beach, and exploring the large sinkhole that is 100 feet deep. There are a total of 24 campsites and only one campground. If you plan on visiting, keep in mind that the largest site can fit up to a 45foot trailer or rig. Falling Waters State Park is the perfect vacation destination for any RV camper.
RV Rentals in Falling Waters State Park
Transportation in Falling Waters State Park
Falling Waters State Park is located just a few miles from I-10, with access to a few small towns in case you need to stock up on supplies. If you are coming from a different direction then you will end up on Florida Highway 273 to Washington County, where the park is located. The entrance to the park may have a few low hanging branches so drive slowly to prevent damaging your rig or trailer. The roads are nicely paved and signs help you along the way. The park is on a hill so those who have a trailer longer than 35 feet may have some trouble when arriving, but if you downshift and drive slowly you will be alright.
There are two large parking lots located within the park. The first is by the entrance and the other is on the south end of the park. You can use bikes to get around, so be sure to bring them along. In the rainy season, you may not be able to get around the park very well due to the excess mud, but if you are still planning to go then bring a raincoat and a pair of rain boots. Be mindful of flooding in the area, as it may affect your commute. The temperature, despite Florida being known for its heat, is very mild. The trees in the area provide a lot of shade and due to the park being on a hill, you will have plenty of wind to cool you off on a hot day.
Campgrounds and parking in Falling Waters State Park
Campsites in Falling Waters State Park
Pine Ridge Campground
There are 24 campsites for RV camping with water and electric hookups available. Pine Ridge Campground is on one of the highest hills in Florida with an elevation of 324 ft above sea level. There is no sewer hookup, but a dump station is available. The pad are your campsite may be sand, dirt, or asphalt. If you are assigned to a dirt or sand site and heavy rain is in the forecast, then ask to be moved to an asphalt lot to prevent your trailer or car getting stuck in the mud. Amenities include hot showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and a fire ring. Most campsites offer partial shade, but all of them are within walking distance to a playground and hiking trails. You can only stay 14 days at a time, but if you wish to stay longer then you have to leave the park for three days and then return. Reservations can be made up to 11 months at a time and must be made at least one day ahead of your visit.
There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds in the park.
Seasonal activities in Falling Waters State Park
Going to the Beach
Who wouldn’t appreciate a small beach on their camping trip? Falling Waters State Park has a two-acre lake that can be used for fishing but it can also be your little beach. The shores are covered with white sand and the water is nice and cool. You can go swimming or just bring a book to read as you relax on the sand. If you plan to go into the water for your own safety, then be sure to follow all of the park’s rules. Remember to bring sunscreen and a bathing suit in your RV if you plan to take a dip.
There are three different nature trails that you can enjoy. All the trails are connected so if you want to hike all of them in one weekend then bring a pair of sturdy hiking boots in your camper. Each trail takes you to a different destination with different historic areas for you to explore. You just may be able to see the large sinkhole in the park. Remember to bring sunscreen and a water bottle if you intend to be outdoors for a long period of time.
There is a two-acre lake in the center of the park where you can enjoy a refreshing time catching some fish. You will need a valid Florida Freshwater Fishing license, so remember to pack it before you go. If you don’t have a license, whether you are a resident or a nonresident then there are simple ways to obtain one online. You may not catch a largemouth bass or a prize winning catfish, but what you will be able to catch white bass, Florida gar, and spotted crappies.
Visiting the Sinkhole
There is a 100-foot sinkhole that was formed due to the drilling for oil in the early 1900's. A staircase leads to the bottom of the sinkhole and connects to a cave full with the mysteries from the early 1900’s. If you plan on exploring the sinkhole, then take a flashlight with you. There will also be an interactive sign for you to learn more about sinkholes and how they are formed at the bottom. Remember to speak with local guides about the sinkhole in case they have any further information on this one in particular.
Falling Waters State Park is a part of Operation Recreation GeoTour, where you use a GPS and explore the different geo-locations around the park. There are plenty of things to discover, so be sure to bring a pencil or pen to write your name in the log book. Geocaching is fun for the entire family and a great way to explore a new place during your RV adventures. Grab a bag of your own small treasures to hide in new locations to keep the adventure going.
One enjoyable year-round experience in Falling Waters State Park is birdwatching. There are over 100 species of birds listed as either native or flybys. Be prepared when you go birding and remember to bring your binoculars and sturdy pair of hiking boots. Some of the wonderful birds you might spot are the ovenbird and gray-cheeked thrush, or the green heron near the lakeside. If you wish to know more about the different animals and plants, then Falling Waters State Park is listed on The Great Florida and Wildlife Trails for more information.