Visit to Falling Waters State Park

falls

The morning started cold but sunny at our campsite in Florida Caverns state park. We stay at this park frequently, and took the cave tour many times so this time we decided to explore more of the area. The wind kept the temperatures lower, but out of the wind the sun felt so good. We decided to visit another state park so drove west on 90, stopping at the Main Street market in Chipley (stop there if you can) and then on the Falling Waters State Park.

The park contains the highest waterfall in Florida at 73 feet. We walked along the boardwalk from the parking lot, and even with the wind heard the falls before we saw it. The heavy rain the day before made the water flow stronger. As we approached, another photographer stood on one of the steps taking his shots. We waited, and composed a few of our own from that angle. The water rushed over the rocks, and into sinkhole below that from our view seemed bottomless.

FWSP water into sinkhole

We spent some time at the Falls on the lower platform and then retraced our steps and moved to the upper platform. After taking a few photographs to give some scale to the falls, we took advantage of the beautiful sunny day and walked the boardwalk trail to the lake. Signs appear along the way, explaining native plants or history such as the gristmill and legal still that once used the falls for power, or the remains of an oil well that never produced oil. The lake has a small swimming area, and I sighted most of the birds I noted around the lake.

I keep a field notebook for most hikes, somewhat casually especially in the plant category, but in the past the information languished after the hike. I stopped using eBird for bird lists so don’t have a formal recording area. I now review my notebooks after the hike, when I review my photographs, and pick notable sightings to record. For Falling Waters State Park:

Notable Sightings

Birds

 
Eastern Kingbird Flew by, first I have seen this season
Great Crested Fly Catcher Heard, then it flew directly in front of us and landed in a nearby tree

Reptiles/Amphibians

 
Broad-headed Skink Beautiful, in a tree crevice

Insects

 
Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly Stopped briefly a few times
   

Mammals

 
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel Two sightings, one as we entered the car, and the other in the parking lot. The first was light colored, the second almost black

 

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