(Last Updated On: December 6, 2022)
park sign for Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park sign. Photo: Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tucked away in the north-westernmost part of Gainesville, you’ll find the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park.

At just 71-acres it is one of the smaller state parks in Florida. However it does have two main draw cards – a large sink hole and a lovely nature trail – that both provide reason enough to come here.

If you are into birding you’ll find plenty of species to spot. Picnicking is another popular activity, as there are several scenic spots in which to enjoy an al fresco meal.

For those looking for a change of scene, the park offers a nice connection with nature. But as it has nothing in the way of overnight accommodation, you will need to stay at one of the nearby campgrounds should you require a place to stay.

About Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

The park is well maintained by the Florida State Parks system. This is one of the divisions of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Lying in close proximity to both the San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park and the San Felasco County Park it is also about an hour and 15 minutes drive from Jacksonville.

The park is pet-friendly and there is plenty of parking available within it.

Activities

Those who come to the park can choose to enjoy its landscape in a few different ways.

Below is a brief overview of some of the things you can see and do while you are there.

The Sinkhole at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

Undoubtedly, the park’s main feature is its large sinkhole.

Created by limestone being dissolved by acidic groundwater over thousands of years, the hole is a National Natural Landmark which has attracted visitors ever since it was first discovered in the 1880s.

While there are a few sinkholes in Florida, what makes this one unique is its sheer size. Overall, you can see more than 100 exposed feet of rock layers.

Leading down to a miniature rainforest, you are able to see small streams trickling down its scarp, as well as the lush vegetation that scales it.

At the bottom of the sinkhole, fossilized remains were found by researchers of marine shells, shark teeth and other extinct animals, that provide a fascinating insight into Florida’s natural history.

Hiking at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

Those who want to explore the sink hole in a more up close and personal way can travel down a boardwalk system that descends towards the bottom of it.

All up, you will have to navigate 132 steps, but it will take you into the heart of this spectacular geological wonder.

If you would prefer to stay at the top of the sinkhole, there is a scenic nature trail that runs along it which is well worth tackling.

Should you happen to visit on a Saturday, you could choose to go on a guided walk with a ranger.

Picnicking at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

While at the park many visitors decide to enjoy a picnic.

You will find picnic facilities complete with grills and tables throughout the park. So you will be able to cook up some burgers, sausages, fish or steaks while you are there.

For those who require it, one of these tables is wheelchair accessible.

Birding at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

For those into birdwatching the park offers plenty of opportunities to spot a wide range of species.

Some of them live in the park all year round while others only pass through during the migratory period.

Depending on when you visit the park you might see the likes of Little Blue Heron, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk, Louisiana Waterthrush and Northern Parula. So be sure to bring your binoculars with you when you come here.

Nature & Wildlife

Despite only being 71 acres in size, Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park possesses three distinctive ecological environments.

Based on their prolonged exposure to water, fire and sun, these environments include a sandhill area where pine trees are the main vegetation. There is also a hammock part that contains plenty of low vegetation and broadleaf trees, as well as swampland that supports a diverse range of flora and fauna.

In addition to the birds that frequent the park, you might also see several other species of fauna during your time at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park.

This includes squirrels, rabbits and a host of amphibians and reptiles.

Pets at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

Pets are welcome to join you at the park although certain conditions need to be abided by.

This includes them being well behaved and kept on a hand held leash of no more than six feet in length. You will also need to clean up after them as well.

Some other restrictions on their presence may also apply, so if you are thinking of bringing your pooch with you, it would be a good idea to contact the park’s main office for clarification.

Camping at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

Unfortunately for those looking for overnight accommodation there is none available at the park. However, not far from it there are several other campgrounds you can base yourself at.

This includes Kate’s fish camp, Santa Fe Palms RV Resort and the Travelers Campground. Between them they offer a good range of accommodation options that include everything from group camping and primitive tent sites to full hookups that come with connections for water, sewer and electricity.

Depending on which one of them you stay at, amenities may include flush toilets, hot showers, a dump station, swimming pool, children’s playground and an onsite convenience store.

Park Location

Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
4732 Millhopper Rd
Gainesville, FL 32653
Phone: 352.955.2008

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park: