Devil’s Millhopper is a geological state park located in northwest Gainesville, Florida. To call it simply what it is – a sinkhole – would be an inefficient and laughable description. This ecological gem actually holds three distinct environments within itself: the sandhill, the hammocks, and the swamp. Shark teeth have even been found at the bottom of the sink.
The boardwalk leads you down 236 steps to the bottom of the sinkhole, 120 feet below. Here is a more temperate climate, much cooler at the bottom of the sink than up at the surface where temperatures can hover in the 90s during the summer with full humidity. The dry parched grasses and trees of drought-stricken Florida are not found in the sink. Only green moss and lush ferns cover the floor of the sink, aided by the many waterfalls surrounding it. The spring water pushes through the limestone walls, sometimes in a trickle but other times in a flood (depending on the rainfall conditions in the area).
It’s peaceful at the bottom. All you can hear is the sound of air rushing through the trees up above or the occasional whistling bird and spirited squirrel. Even at its busiest of seasons, most other visitors I’ve encountered seemed to appreciate the site for what it is and vowed to enjoy the calm and serene atmosphere by being calm and serene themselves. It’s a quiet corner of the city, possibly the only one at times.