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Since the 1880s, people have been making their way to Devils Millhopper Geological State Park to explore the curiosities within. The state park is located in sandy terrain and palm forests in Florida and is made up of a bowl-shaped cavity that is 120 feet deep and leads down to a miniature rainforest.
Devils Millhopper Geological State Park became a designated National Natural Landmark in 1976 and is an incredible example of the results of a collapsed sinkhole. When you see the rushing cascades of water and vibrant plant life, you’ll think you are in the Amazon or Hawaii rather than the state of Florida. The closest town to the park is Gainesville, although Alachua and Newberry are also close, making a great base for those who rent an RV in Alachua County.
You can't visit Devils Millhopper Geological State Park without taking a hike down into the pit, which is the main reason that people go camping at the state park. Visitors can make use of the 132 steps of a wooded boardwalk, surrounded by rich vegetation. The rich diversity of plant life that can be found here is rare, with 12 specifies of oak found in the park alone. A boardwalk crosses the creek that flows into a ravine, and either side of you may be able to spot tall cascades of water, making their way to the bottom of the sinkhole.
In addition to taking the sinkhole boardwalk, there is also a nature trail to enjoy. This lesser-known trail will let you experience a unique perspective of the sinkhole from above. You'll be walking through beautiful upland pine forest while hearing the rushing water of the many small waterfalls that cascade down the rocks. Those that have an observant eye may be able to spot some of the nature that the park is there to preserve, such as garter snakes and red-bellied woodpeckers.
One of the most unique things to do in the park is to take part in an all-levels yoga class, surrounded by an incredible rainforest landscape. There is something relaxing about stretching and moving under a canopy of trees swaying in the breeze. You'll improve your flexibility, blood flow, and state of mind and will be an activity to remember on your motorhome camping adventure.
Camping at Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
There are a couple of places to camp in an RV near Gainesville, meaning you'll only have a short journey to the great outdoors when you wake up in the morning. One of the most popular resorts is Starke KOA RV Resort. This family orientated campground offers extra-long pull-thru RV sites, all of which come with concrete patios. There is free WiFi and cable TV available. As well as comfortable places to park up your RV rental, the resort also offers a large array of amenities, including a large swimming pool, horseshoes, a workout area, and nearby lakes for both boating and fishing.
High Springs Campground is even closer to the park, located halfway between Gainesville and Lake City, making it ideal if you rent a camper near Devils Millhopper Geological State Park. The old oaks on-site provide plenty of shade for the large pull-thru sites, and pets are very welcome to also come and enjoy the motorhome camping trip. The sites come with free WiFi, and there is also a beautiful swimming pool to make use of, ideal for cooling down in the hotter months.
Exploring the Area
One of the closest towns to the park is Gainesville, a great town to explore with plenty to do and see. Art enthusiasts should head to the Harn Museum of Art, which houses an extensive collection of Asian, African, modern, and contemporary works of art. You’ll find over 10,000 works in a range of mediums, from sculptures to photographs laid out through several galleries. The terrace garden is a wonderful place to enjoy during a summer day.
Nearby you'll find the Florida Museum of Natural History, where you'll be able to get a glimpse of Florida’s flora and fauna both past and present. The museum is home to a huge fossil collection, as well as several reconstructions of the diverse habitats that make up the Florida waterways. After your visit, be sure to pop into the tropical butterfly house to see a whole range of species fluttering all around you.
There is a beautiful golf course nearby which can be used by those camping in the area. The Ironwood Golf Course is carefully landscaped with 18 challenging holes to tackle. You can hire or cart or chose to walk through the collection of lakes and pine woods. If you are new to the game or just want to hone your skills, you can also make use of the on-site driving range.