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12 Best Waterfalls in Florida that Offers a Perfect Visual Retreat

By | Last Updated : 2nd August 2021

The Sunshine State, Florida, has a flat terrain. Despite this, there are many waterfalls in this state that are unique in their way. Each of them also offers a different experience. The natural waterfalls here may not have an impressive height, but the volume of water cascading over the limestone rocks provides an awe-inspiring view. Many also feature interesting geological formations, and some even exist in sinkholes. The human-made ones are equally spectacular.

Waterfalls in Florida

1. Falling Waters Falls

Falling Waters Falls in Florida

Falling Waters Falls, cascading from a height of 73 feet, is the state’s tallest waterfall. Located within Falling Waters State Park, it is a spectacular sight to see the water plunge into the 100-foot deep sinkhole below. You can also view it from various impressive angles and get to feel the refreshing mist of the cascading natural falls. Visit it after heavy rainfall to enjoy its flow in full glory. You need to pay a parking fee of about $5 per vehicle or $2 per person if going on foot.

Nearest City: 3 miles from Chipley

Hiking & Other Activities: The scenic trail, mostly a boardwalk, is about a mile long (out and back). It is accessible by hikers of all skill levels. On your way, you will see a lake, a beach, sinkholes, and finally, the waterfall. The signs all along give interesting information about the surrounding floras. You can also enjoy swimming in the sandy beach area located at the lakeside. There are picnic tables too, for a fun-filled get-together. Within the park, you can also spend overnight at the campground.

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2. Big Shoals State Park Falls

Big Shoals State Park Falls in Florida

More than a typical waterfall, these are white water rapids flowing along the Suwannee River in Big Shoals State Park. It is an impressive sight to watch them from the 80 feet towering bluff. Many enjoy kayaking and canoeing in the rushing waters. However, as it is a Class III rapid, accessing it could get a little challenging, best for experienced boaters.

Remember to bring cash to pay the entrance fee of $4 per vehicle or $2 per pedestrian or bicyclist.

Nearest City: About 2 miles from White Springs

Hiking & Other Activities: Big Shoal Trail, which is about 4.5 miles (out and back), will take you to the tall river bluff. You will surely love the magnificent views of the rapids and the entire picturesque park from here. Hikers of all skill levels can come to the trail, and you’ll also get to see many wildlife and bird species all along. You can also use this path for cycling. You can also enjoy exploring the other trails nearby, like the Woodpecker Trail and Mossy Ravine Trail.

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3. Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs in Florida

Rainbow Springs State Park, in central Florida, is a hotspot among visitors for its charm and beauty. You’ll get to see many splendid waterfalls here. Besides admiring them, you can also enjoy plunging into its crystal clear blue waters. Moreover, the surrounding hills and ornamental gardens are a treat to the eye. The state park charges a fee. Your dogs, too, can tag along.

Nearest City: About 3.5 miles from Dunnellon

Hiking & Other Activities: It’s a short and easy walk to the waterfalls, accessible by everyone. You can also wander in the lush wooded area. Besides swimming, you can also enjoy kayaking, canoeing, tubing, snorkeling, etc.

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4. Devil’s Millhopper Nature Trail

Devil’s Millhopper Nature Trail in Florida

Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a lovely scenic place that features several natural wonders, including gorgeous waterfalls. It is quite an adventure to see these cascades as you need to descend to the bottom of the 120-foot-deep sinkhole to witness them. The waterfalls flowing naturally from the exposed rocks of the sinkhole into the pool below are a spectacular sight. The state park also has many fascinating fossils and diverse flora and fauna. If interested, you can also know about the park’s geology and history through guided tours. The best time to visit this place is during the monsoon, when the park becomes a dense rainforest, and you can see multiple cascades.  

Nearest City: About 7 miles from Gainesville

Hiking & Other Activities: After a short hike along the boardwalk, you need to get down to the base of the sinkhole using a large set of wooden stairs to get to the waterfalls. You can also view them from the various observation decks positioned all along the way if you don’t feel like or are too tired to descend the stairs. You can also enjoy picnicking here or hiking the other scenic trails.

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5. Disappearing Creek Falls

Disappearing Creek Falls in Florida

This awe-inspiring water feature is not exactly a waterfall but rapids that flow along the creek and ultimately dropping into a sinkhole. This place is a nature lover’s hub for all the deep ravines and limestone bluffs providing breathtaking vistas of the Suwannee River. The karst topography here is also remarkable, formed by the dissolving of soluble bedrocks.

Nearest City: White Springs

Hiking & Other Activities: The trail starts from the parking area at Camp Branch Conservation Area. Hike along the jeep road and then follow the double blaze. You will then have to take the blue-blazed side trail to Disappearing Creek off the part of the Florida Trail.

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6. Florida Trail Falls

Florida Trail Falls

There are many things to see as you tread the scenic Florida Trail along Econfina Creek. Apart from the various picturesque bluffs and ravines, you’ll also get to see pretty little falls and rapids. Designated as the National Scenic Trail, it possesses some of the most beautiful natural gems of Florida. You can also spend time observing the birds and the unique geologic features formed by the flowing waters.

Nearest City: White Springs

Hiking & Other Activities: This section of the long Florida Trails meanders along the Econfina Creek for about 18 miles long. You’ll also find some steep inclines and declines along the bluffs. You will also have to hike the rugged paths that are sometimes slippery. Hence, wear proper hiking shoes.

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7. Steinhatchee Falls

Steinhatchee Falls in Florida

Located in northwest Florida in Taylor County, Steinhatchee Falls are the state’s most expansive. Though not of great height, they provide a mesmerizing view tumbling down the limestone ledges. In addition, the surrounding dense hardwood forest and river bluffs make it more enchanting.

Nearest City: About 3 miles from Tennille

Hiking & Other Activities: You can hike the Steinhatchee hiking trail that is about 3.3 miles long. It will take you past the forested areas to the falls at the end. You can also enjoy kayaking or canoeing here, alongside wildlife watching.

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8. Falling Creek Falls

Falling Creek Falls in Florida

This little waterfall on the Suwannee River is lesser-known, flowing from a mere height of 10 feet. Despite the small size, it is pretty appealing to watch it gush into the ravine below from the limestone ridge. In addition, its amber-colored waters make it even more unique.

Nearest City: About 5.5 miles from Lake City

Hiking & Other Activities It is an easy hike along the boardwalk trail to the falls. You can also explore the area and know its history walking along the other path. Other activities to enjoy here are picnicking and wildlife watching.

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9. Hidden Waters Preserve

Hidden Waters Preserve in Florida

You’ll find many sinkholes within Hidden Waters Preserve. One of the remarkable ones is the Eichelberger Sink having a depth of more than 100 feet. You can descend into it to witness the scenic wonders. During the rainy season, you will get an incredible view of several tumbling waterfalls. Moreover, you’ll also find Lake Alfred at the sinkhole’s base, which gets its water from these natural cascades.

Nearest City: About 3 miles from Eustis

Hiking & Other Activities: There are many trails within the preserve area. To get to the base of the sinkhole, you can follow the blue blazes.

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10. Weeping Ridge Falls

Weeping Ridge Falls in Florida

Weeping Ridge Falls is a part of Torreya State Park, the state’s oldest and largest, sitting at an elevation of 3000 feet. Here, the 25-foot falls are a pretty one whose volume depends on the rainfall. The surrounding diverse flora enhances its beauty.

There is an entry fee in the state park of about $3 per vehicle and $2 per pedestrian or bicyclist.

Nearest City: About 13 miles from Bristol

Hiking & Other Activities: This waterfall sits at the end of the Weeping Ridge Trail. It is about a mile round-trip and rated moderate as the paths are pretty steep and rugged. Some of the rocks are very slippery too. So don’t forget to wear appropriate footwear. You’ll also find a campground at the trail’s junction, where you can enjoy staying overnight amidst the picturesque setting.

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11. Morikami Japanese Gardens Falls

Morikami Japanese Gardens Falls in Florida

Inside this beautiful garden, you’ll come across a stunning human-made waterfall. With a Japanese scenic setting, quite unusual in Florida, it attracts a lot of tourists. The waterfall, along with the lush greenery, is exceptionally appealing and photogenic. Though it is artificial, it is almost impossible to guess so as it is no less captivating than the natural ones. You can also walk around the tranquil gardens, which is a perfect remedy to de-stress your mind.

Nearest City: About 7.5 miles from Delray Beach

Hiking & Other Activities: t is a short walk from the entry gate. You can also enjoy watching the various birds, including herons, cormorants, and snowy egrets. To enjoy an authentic Japanese meal, you can head to the Cornell Café near the entrance. There are several sites worth visiting, including the museum, manicured gardens, and so on.

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12. Lake Osprey Trail Falls

Lake Osprey Trail Falls

Though Lake Osprey is the main attraction of Oscar Scherer State Park, you’ll also find a little waterfall. Walking past the lake and descending the slope, you’ll come across an old bridge from where you can view the falls. It is an artesian spring flowing down the hillside above the lake.

You will have to spend $5 to park your vehicle here or $2 if going on foot or bicycle.

Nearest City: About 2 miles from Osprey

Hiking & Other Activities: Lake Osprey Trail starts from the picnic area. It is accessible by wheelchair only to the lake. From here, you need to take a side trail towards the park road that will lead you to the waterfall. There are numerous activities to enjoy around the lake area, including swimming, fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, birdwatching, etc.

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TOP PICKS

Best Waterfalls for Hiking: Florida Trail, Steinhatchee Falls, Falling Creek Falls 

Best Waterfalls for Swimming: Rainbow Springs, Steinhatchee Falls

Best Waterfalls for Camping: Weeping Ridge Falls, Steinhatchee Falls

Best Hidden Waterfalls: Falling Creek Falls

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