Florida Caverns State Park | Outdoorsy

Florida Caverns State Park
Guide

Introduction

Florida Caverns State Park is a hidden gem in the Florida Panhandle that will make a perfect destination for your next RV vacation no matter your age. Consisting of 1,319 acres, the park has a stunning natural history with caves that began their formation 38 million years ago. These caves are the biggest attraction within the park, and it's also the only park in the state where you can explore air-filled limestone caves. If you venture underground, you’ll get a thrill seeing the wonder of flowstones, stalagmites, and stalactites that have been formed by years of eroding bedrock. Above ground, you can discover the beauty of rivers and springs that captivate the eye around the park, including the Chipola River and Blue Hole Spring.

Along with cave exploration, there are many other outdoor activities that await you at Florida Caverns State Park. If you want to see unique, native wildlife during your trip, you'll be able to spot bats, salamanders, and blind crayfish. You can fish in the Chipola River for catfish, bass, and sunfish. You can also go hiking, biking, and horseback riding on miles of beautiful multi-use trails, or enjoy a quiet picnic at one of the six picnic areas dotted around the park.

The campground within Florida Caverns State Park is on the smaller side and features 35 sites for you to choose from. All of the sites in the campground that are suitable for RVs are equipped with full hookups, what a bonus! You’ll enjoy sunny days no matter what time of year you take your RV trip to Florida Caverns State Park since the summers offer 90-degree days and the winters are mild, with temperatures in the 60s. Peak season at Florida Caverns State Park runs from April until October.

RV Rentals in Florida Caverns State Park

Transportation

Driving

Whether you are driving in your RV or a smaller vehicle, it is easy to get to Florida Caverns State Park since it is located just three miles north of Marianna on State Road 166. There are several local roads within the park that will take you anywhere you want to go such as the campsites, caves, Visitor Center, trailheads, and boating areas.

If you need to get any last-minute supplies before you reach the park, there are plenty of places that you can visit, including stores in Marianna, Greenwood, and Malone. The closest city to the park is Dothan, AL, which is around 38 miles north of the park.

All of the roads in the area are in great condition, but you should be mindful that within the park itself there are some overhanging trees on the road to the campground. Because of this, it is recommended that you drive slow in order to avoid damaging your RV from these branches. Rigs over 45 feet will not fit in the campground, so it is advised that you stay in alternate accommodation if you have a larger rig.

Parking

There are several parking lots located within the park that can accommodate vehicles, RVs, and trailers. Parking lots are located near the Visitor Center, Sweetgum Shelter, Hickory Shelter, and the boating area. You can also park your RV right at one of the campsites if you are staying overnight.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Florida Caverns State Park

Campsites in Florida Caverns State Park

Reservations camping

Florida Caverns State Park Campground

Florida Caverns State Park Campground features 35 pet-friendly campsites that are open to RVs and tents. All sites, except for three primitive, tent-only sites, come with electrical, water, and sewer connections. The maximum RV length in the campground is 45 feet, and sites are located on dirt or grass patches.

The two loops each have restroom facilities, so if your RV isn't equipped with a shower you can clean up without having to travel too far from your rig. All of the sites are also pet-friendly, and you should be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks. Reservations for the Florida Caverns State Park Campground can be made up to 11 months prior to your arrival, and they are recommended so you will have a guaranteed place to stay.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served

There are no first-come, first-served campsites available at Florida Caverns State Park, but you will be able to stay at any of the unreserved sites if you arrive and there are some available. If you are visiting during the peak season, you have a higher risk of not securing a site, so it makes sense to book in advance before you set off on your RV journey to the park.

Alternate camping

Equestrian Camping

If you are an avid equestrian, you will have the option to bring your horses and do some equestrian camping at Florida Caverns State Park. There are three campsites that feature stables next door, and all of them are equipped with water and electric hookups. Since the equestrian-friendly sites are located within the main campground, you can also make use of the restroom facilities that are only a short walk away.

Another bonus is an Equestrian Facility featuring wash racks so your horse can be easily groomed. Like the rest of the sites in the campground, there is room for rigs up to 45 feet in length, and reservations can be made in advance online.

Tent Camping

Thinking of bringing a tent to stay in during your visit to Florida Caverns State Park? If so, you will be pleased to know that all of the sites are suitable for tents to use. Out of the 32 sites that are tent-friendly in the campground, three of these are tent-only, so they are the most preferred sites for visitors without an RV. These sites can be reserved online prior to your arrival, and they are popular, so remember to book them in advance.

Youth Group Camping

There is a group campground at Florida Caverns State Park, however, it is only open to youth groups. This area is located away from the main camping area and features amenities that can't be accessed by other visitors. These include a picnic area, a cold shower, two toilets, a water collection point, and a fire pit. There is enough room for up to 100 people to stay here, but no RVs are allowed. To make a reservation, you will need to call the park office directly due to the Youth Group Camping area not being available for online reservations.

Seasonal activities in Florida Caverns State Park

Off-Season

Fishing

Whether you are a novice or an avid angler, Florida Caverns State Park is a prime destination for fishing during your RV trip to the Florida Panhandle. You’ll have the chance to hook your bait and catch mullet, catfish, bass, and sunfish. You can fish along the Chipola River or at the unique river sink, so there are a few different options as to where you can cast out a line. Remember to bring your own fishing gear and make sure that you have a Florida fishing license.

Wildlife Viewing and Birding

Florida Caverns State Park is home to unique native wildlife that you might not get to see elsewhere. If you explore the caves, you can spot wondrous cave creatures like bats and salamanders. If you go to the Chipola River, you can see wetland creatures like alligators and beavers. For avid birdwatchers, you can see majestic native birds like herons and egrets. Make sure you pack your binoculars in your camper so you won’t miss a chance to see the enchanting creatures that call this beautiful state park home.

Visitor Center

If you’re taking an RV trip to Florida Caverns State Park, you won’t want to miss a stop at the Visitor Center. Open throughout the year, here you can learn about the unique history of the park that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1942 by viewing walk-through exhibits. You can also learn about the amazing geological formations at the caves by catching a video tour of the majestic caverns or asking park staff any questions that you may have.

Picnicking

Once you park your rig at Florida Caverns State Park, you can enjoy a quiet picnic in a tranquil setting near majestic waterways and forests. There are six picnic areas that provide picnic tables and grills. The Hickory Shelter is one great spot for a picnic that includes a restroom and playground. All of the picnic areas offer serene views of the Florida Panhandle’s unique environment, so pack some food and enjoy the serenity.

Geo-seeking

If you want to go on a modern-day treasure hunt the whole family can enjoy, you’ll love the chance to go geo-seeking during your RV escape to Florida Caverns State Park. Caches are hidden within the park, and they may contain trinkets or little treasures. You can find these caches by using GPS coordinates posted on websites and smartphone apps. This is a great way to explore the park with the added fun of finding a mystery item!

In-Season

Campfire Circles

If you’re looking for an authentic camping experience, you’ll love attending one of the regularly scheduled campfire circles during your stay at Florida Caverns State Park. These programs are offered on Saturday evenings from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so if you are visiting during the peak season you will have the chance to check them out. You can enjoy fascinating tales and historical stories from expert rangers while you sit by the campfire.

Boating

Florida Caverns State Park is a great place to go boating or paddling during your RV vacation. A boat ramp is available within the park near the entrance station and main camping area. You can launch your small boat and coast along the stunning Chipola River. You can also rent canoes to paddle along the river where you can spot alligators, snakes, and beavers, so even if you don't own a watercraft you won't have to miss out.

Horseback Riding

If you want to go horseback riding during your trip to Florida Caverns State Park, you are in for a treat! The park features several multi-use trails that are open to equestrians. You can ride along the Fence Line Trail where you’ll see stunning landscapes of forest and grassy knolls. The Sinkhole Trail is another beautiful trek that passes near the majestic waters of the Chipola River. An Equestrian Facility is located in the park where you can use the stables and wash rack.

Hiking

Once you park your rig, you’ll want to head out on the trail to explore the untamed beauty of Florida Caverns State Park. You can hike until your heart's content along nature trails that will take you through gorgeous rocky bluffs and winding rivers. You will also be able to see the stunning views of rivers and the floodplains, such as on the Sinkhole Trail that runs near the Chipola River.

Cave Tours

You won’t want to miss a chance to explore the mystic beauty of the caves during your RV trip to Florida Caverns State Park. Once you embark on your tour, you’ll enter the majestic cave caverns where you can see the natural wonder of unique geological formations like columns, stalagmites, and stalactites. You might get a glimpse of fascinating cave critters like salamanders, bats, and cave crickets. As you tour the enchanting caves, you’ll learn their incredible natural history from expert rangers. You’ll want to use caution as you make your way through the cave due to low ceilings and slippery walkways.

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