Got My Steps in Today

@moffittjc (83882)
Gainesville, Florida
June 28, 2020 8:11pm CST
Literally. I'm not just talking about walking steps. I'm talking about actual steps up and down stairs. Right around the corner from where I live is a state park that is very small, yet protects something quite large. There is a huge sinkhole in the park that is 120 feet deep (36.5 meters) and over 500 feet wide (152 meters). There is a staircase that descends down into the sinkhole that contains 119 steps. The staircase winds back and forth as it hugs one side of the sinkhole, with viewing decks spaced throughout. There is a small stream that empties into the sinkhole, providing beautiful views of the water cascading down into the sinkhole. Currently, due to heavy rains and recent flooding, the bottom of the sinkhole is full of water. At first park officials thought the sinkhole might be plugged, but the amount of water has not grown larger, indicating that there is still some drainage down into the underground aquifer. The sinkhole is also unique in that it is so deep that it has its own mini-ecosystem, and the area inside the sinkhole is considered a rainforest. There is a drastic temperature change between the land surface above and the bottom of the sinkhole. It's pretty noticeable. A hot summer day at the top of the sinkhole is nice and cool down at the bottom. Prior to the area being bought by the state in 1976 to protect it, people used to venture down the steep slopes of the sinkhole to search for arrowheads and fossilized sharks teeth. Even the fossilized remains or prehistoric mammals and reptiles have been found at the bottom. It's a very neat experience, and I'm glad I visited today. I walked to the park from my house, so between the walk and descending and climbing the staircase in the sinkhole, I got plenty of exercise for the day. Do you have any significant geological areas near where you live? I love hearing about unique things from all the wonderful places around the world. Photo is the view looking down into the sinkhole. I was about three-quarters of the way down when I stopped to take the photo. Traversing that staircase is no easy task!
27 people like this
26 responses
@andriaperry (110715)
• Anniston, Alabama
29 Jun
Nope. Not that I know of. I worked today and this place has a flight of steps, 12 up to the landing, I've been up and down all day
6 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
So you got your steps in today too! All that up and down action is not good for the knees though!
3 people like this
@DianneN (177064)
• United States
29 Jun
I’m fascinated by sinkholes, but never saw one in person. It looks pretty in your photo. Nothing unusual here. Going down the stairs is easy. It’s going up that’s a killer! I love them for workouts.
4 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
After I had my knee surgery last year, my doctor told me to avoid going up and down stairs as much as possible, which for the most part I have done. But I made up for it yesterday when I went up and down the 119 steps at the sinkhole!
2 people like this
@DianneN (177064)
• United States
29 Jun
@moffittjc I hope your knee is all healed and feels okay after all those steps! I'm used to running up and down steps. We have our bedroom upstairs and the basement downstairs. I'm up and down all day. My behind is nice and firm.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
@DianneN I have no cartilage left in my right knee, so when climbing up and down steps it causes bone-on-bone rub. I took it very slow going up and down those steps to ensure that I kept the best interests of my knee in mind. It must have worked, because I have no aches or pains in my knees today!
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (17981)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
29 Jun
Sinkholes can be scary, especially if it's a recent one.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Especially if you're asleep in your bed when the ground caves in under you! That happened a couple of years ago in the Tampa, FL area, where a giant sinkhole opened under a house and swallowed everything in it, including the guy sleeping in his bed at the time. Although authorities dug frantically down in the sinkhole, they never found the body of the guy.
3 people like this
@UncleJoe (17981)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
29 Jun
@moffittjc I remember that from the news.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
@UncleJoe It's rare to hear a story like that where a person is swallowed by a sinkhole, but it is very common for sinkholes to open near houses, businesses, roads and more. They're very prevalent here in Florida. Just recently, we've had two open here where I live. One was in an open field, but the other was near a home.
3 people like this
@Deepizzaguy (37179)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
29 Jun
In my neighborhood there is a huge field in the back that has a basketball court that is located near the next door's neighbor's home as well as a scrapyard.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Who owns the basketball court? Is it privately owned, or is it owned by the local government as part of a park or something?
3 people like this
@Deepizzaguy (37179)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
29 Jun
@moffittjc The basketball court is owned by the Lake Charles Housing Department.
1 person likes this
29 Jun
oh that would be SO AWESOME to be close by I'd vist it almost everyday we don't have anythng like that here other than a small park with the dame that empties the 3000 acre lake when it over flows from too much rain.
Visited Cataract Falls in central IN to see the natural phenomenon and enjoy its beauty. Enjoy the Kayak sinking!!! Thanks for Watching. Feel free to like, c...
2 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Since it's a state-managed geological area, there is a $2 admission to walk in, or $4 per vehicle. So although I would love to visit there every day, the cost would add up over time. Of course, I guess I could by a state park annual pass, which would be a great deal for me since I visit so many of our wonderful state parks.
1 person likes this
29 Jun
@moffittjc now THAT'S a awesome idea if it was ME I sure would
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
30 Jun
@hardtimes1958 I've been thinking about it for quite a while. It would pay for itself in a matter of weeks. I visit a lot of state parks. We have so many around this area of the state.
1 person likes this
@much2say (41571)
• United States
29 Jun
That's a neat staircase - it does look like a rainforest! Here in Los Angeles we have a bunch of nature places to visit, but I can't think of one that is "significant" like this sinkhole!
2 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Isn't there some pretty famous tar pits or something like that in the Los Angeles area? That would probably be pretty cool to visit. And you have the mountains nearby that would be fun to explore!
1 person likes this
@much2say (41571)
• United States
29 Jun
@moffittjc La Brea Tar Pits . . . I was actually thinking of that but wasn't sure if that qualified as significant. I guess we've been there so many times - we tend to take that for granted. Otherwise, yes, lots of places to explore!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
30 Jun
@much2say Is there still actual tar in those pits?
1 person likes this
@kobesbuddy (104720)
• East Tawas, Michigan
29 Jun
Here we have a scenic view, similar to this sink hole. It's called Iargo Springs and it's by the AuSable River. There are stairs that descent, such as the ones in your picture and benches to stop and rest. I've been to the bottom many times, but it's as exciting as the first time. Natural springs flow out of the ground, constantly replenishing this river with fresh, clean water. It's a natural wonder, that I love.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Wow, sounds like a beautiful place! I would love to visit. I love coming across natural wonders, it's what makes each area so unique and different.
1 person likes this
@kobesbuddy (104720)
• East Tawas, Michigan
29 Jun
@moffittjc The water in the river is so cold, the best of swimmers couldn't handle it. In the fall months, this view is magnificent! They have a paddlewheel boat that takes people for a scenic ride during Sept-Oct., about twice a day.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
@kobesbuddy The water in our springs that comes from the underground aquifer is a constant 72 degrees year-round. That actually feels really cold when the outside temperatures are hovering near the 100 degree mark in the summer, but in the winter it feels warm compared to temps in the 40s, 50s and 60s.
2 people like this
@Adie04 (6649)
29 Jun
Sounds like a great place to visit
2 people like this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Unless you are in a wheelchair or have difficulty walking or climbing steps! haha But yes, it is a really great place, and amazing how deep the hole is when you look down into the sinkhole. It's hard to see the bottom from the top in the spring and summer, because all the trees are thick with lush leaves, but it's easier to peer all the way to the bottom in the fall and winter when all the trees drop their leaves.
1 person likes this
@Adie04 (6649)
29 Jun
1 person likes this
@Fa_Maverick (4033)
• Australia
29 Jun
looks like a gorgeous place. I would love to go there.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
I would love to take you there. But I have to warn you, there's not much to see, other than a big hole in the ground with a staircase that goes down to it. And even the hole is hard to see, because of the thick tropical rainforest of trees growing inside it. But it's still a cool sight to see. But if you add that visit in with a couple of other natural wonders in our area, and you can make a good weekend out of it.
1 person likes this
• Australia
29 Jun
@moffittjc Exactly can always go to a few other places.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
@Fa_Maverick There are a few local places that I like that I would take you. We'd definitely visit Devil's Millhopper (the sinkhole), but we'd also go to La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie so you could see the hundreds of alligators that live there, as well as the wild horses and bison. Then I'd also take you to Devil's Den, where there is this amazing under ground spring that you can swim in. And maybe take you to O'Leno State Park where you can hike the various nature trails and also see where the Santa Fe River disappears underground. Plus a few other places. There is an abundance of natural wonders in this area.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (83098)
• Nashville, Tennessee
29 Jun
Wow. This reminds me of a bed and breakfast in TN. Close to Gatlinburg.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
Did you have to climb stairs to get to the B&B?
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (83098)
• Nashville, Tennessee
29 Jun
@moffittjc No, you could climb down to take hikes. The B&B sat up on a hill.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
@CarolDM Well, same thing! Afterward, you'd have to climb back up those stairs to get to the B&B!
1 person likes this
@just4him (210647)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
29 Jun
Nothing like that here. It looks like a good climb up and down. You sure did get a good workout.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
It's definitely a good way to get exercise. I know a lot of people go there to exercise by jogging up and down all the steps.
1 person likes this
@just4him (210647)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
30 Jun
@moffittjc That's a good workout.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Jul
@just4him The football stadium at the University of Florida is open for public access for people to go there to run stadiums (run up and down he steps). Sometimes it's pretty amazing to go there in the late afternoon and see hundreds of people running up and down the steps.
1 person likes this
@Alexandoy (59904)
• Cainta, Philippines
29 Jun
The sinkhole looks like an adventure spot huh. Nice picture there.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
It's a good place to get some exercise! There's also a big loop trail that goes around the sinkhole, and a lot of people will go there to walk or jog the loop trail.
1 person likes this
@Alexandoy (59904)
• Cainta, Philippines
29 Jun
@moffittjc it looks nice to me. Sinkholes here are not like that good looking.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
@Alexandoy Most of our sinkholes aren't either. This one is an ancient one, and used to be massive. Over thousands of years, erosion has filled in most of it, even though what's left of it is pretty massive.
1 person likes this
@simone10 (48311)
• United States
4 Jul
Sinkholes can be so scary, especially if they are near where you live. But, what can you do but not think about it and just go on. Your picture is beautiful! Do you know if the sinkhole has gotten any bigger?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
4 Jul
The sinkhole has not gotten any bigger. It's considered an ancient sinkhole, and there is evidence of it collapsing at least twice in the last several thousand years. So, it's possible it could happen again, but doesn't seem likely at the current time. It is stabilized right now, and is not growing in size.
1 person likes this
@simone10 (48311)
• United States
7 Jul
@moffittjc That's good. I sure wouldn't want to be in it if there was even the slightest chance.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
7 Jul
@simone10 Hmmm....I've never really even thought of that scenario. I just assume it's safe. Just like I would assume it's safe to scale an active volcano and peak over the rim, like many tourists do. I just don't think about the fact that there could be risks involved!
@BelleStarr (51455)
• United States
2 Jul
In a nearby town, there are fossilized remains, dinosaur footprints all over the place. It is the town my father grew up in and he took us to see them when we were kids. My brother bought a lake cottage in that town and he had his own dinosaur print. He took it with him when he sold the house.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
3 Jul
How cool that must have been to see! I wish I could find a dinosaur print!
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (51455)
• United States
4 Jul
@moffittjc I will ask my brother to send me a picture of his. But in Middlefield CT they are quite common.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
4 Jul
@BelleStarr Just as fossilized shark teeth are so common here in Florida! Although I have never experienced this myself, I hear of so many people I know who have come across giant fossilized mastodon bones here in Florida. I would love to experience that myself someday!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (193561)
• United States
29 Jun
That really was quite a walk you had. What an amazing place to spend some time. We do have a lot of areas that were covered by glaciers and I suppose those areas have quite a few interesting prehistoric finds.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
So your topography was carved out by the glaciers? I'm sure there is quite a bit of prehistoric history there!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (193561)
• United States
29 Jun
@moffittjc Yes, quite a bit. The Illinois of 325 to 540 million years ago was a shallow tropical ocean.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
1 Jul
@Corbin5 It's amazing to think of how our country (and this planet in general) looked millions of years ago! Completely different than what we're used to seeing in these modern times.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (40651)
• United States
29 Jun
What an interesting spot. We have a lot of parks; but they are all pretty much the same. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
You're welcome. This sinkhole is right down the street from where I live, so I don't know why I don't visit it more often, or why I haven't written about it before now.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (40651)
• United States
30 Jun
@moffittjc That's cool that it's close by.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Jul
@LindaOHio It takes me less than 10 minutes to walk there. It takes me longer to walk down the steps to the bottom than it does to walk there from my house! haha
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (292486)
• Switzerland
29 Jun
I have heard of sinkholes, surely interesting to visit. Just a few steps from home we have the Monte San Giorgio with a fossil museum and geological nature trail. Many fossils of great scientific interest were discovered here.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
That’s really awesome that you live near a place with such geological and historic significance!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (292486)
• Switzerland
30 Jun
@moffittjc The sea reached our area millions of years ago. When I dig in the garden sometimes I fine small shells. I have the habit to go up and down the stairs, our home is on 3 levels.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (214357)
• Bunbury, Australia
29 Jun
Going back up those stairs would have killed me. Is there ever any danger of something like this suddenly caving in some more? I know nothing about sinkholes.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
This is an ancient sinkhole that has already collapsed twice. It's possible that it will one day collapse again, but so far there is no evidence it will happen anytime soon. Here in Florida, sinkholes are very common, and are a danger throughout the state, especially in the area of the state where I live. We're always hearing stories about how sinkholes opened up in the night and swallowed cars or structures. Thankfully, most of them happen in undeveloped areas, but on occasion we do hear about houses getting swallowed up. It's been a few years since I've seen one of those news stories. Most sinkholes are relatively small, and if they find them quick enough, they can stabilize them before they collapse into big sinkholes.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (214357)
• Bunbury, Australia
29 Jun
@moffittjc Thanks for that information. WA is a much safer place I think.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (123429)
• United States
29 Jun
I stepped along behind my mower. Your sinkhole sounds refreshing, actually. I would say we are most noted for being in the Flint Hills.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
So you got your exercise in from mowing! At least you killed two birds with one stone...exercise and chores! What is special about the Flint Hills? I've never heard of them.
@thelme55 (46123)
• Germany
29 Jun
What a stunning photo! Going up is easy to climb but I think I have to stop oftentimes to reach the peak.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (83882)
• Gainesville, Florida
29 Jun
I like to take my time getting up and down the steps, so I will stop frequently at each of the viewing decks and just admire the natural scenery. Then, when I've had a good rest for a few minutes, then I will continue on.
1 person likes this