Sunday, October 24, 2010

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park - Gainesville, Florida

On the northern outskirts of Gainesville, the Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park offers the opportunity to descend to an exotic natural environment that thrives more than 120 feet below the normal surface of Florida.

The Devil's Millhopper is the somewhat sinister name given to a massive sinkhole. Created by water that eroded the karst or limestone that prevails beneath much of Florida until finally the surface collapsed to form a huge hole, the Millhopper is roughly 500 feet across from rim to rim and 120 feet deep. Put into perspective, the Statue of Liberty could be placed in the sinkhole and only the arm holding the torch would appear above ground.

There are many stories surrounding the origin of the use of the name Devil's Millhopper. The most common is that it takes the shape of the interior of a hopper from an old gristmill. Early explorers found many bones of animals in the bottom and easily created the legend that it was a gateway to the Devil and Hell.

While it is in no way a sinister place, it is a fascinating geological landmark that is well worth the short drive off I-75 at Gainesville. To learn more and see additional pictures, please visit

1 comment:

  1. It was a common place for student partie before it became a state park I remember going over the side one night and thought I would never stop but then the thorn bushes stopped me! Students also went caving in the same area.