Florida is most famous for its endless beaches, sunshine, and the magical Walt Disney World. With so many touristy things to do in Florida such as beaches and theme parks, most people don’t realize is that the state actually has some beautiful waterfalls. Mind you, if you come expecting to see something similar to Niagara Falls or Victoria Falls, you’ll be disappointed. But if you simply want to see a rare natural treasure in an otherwise mostly flat terrain, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Here are some beautiful waterfalls in Florida for those that enjoy exploring the outdoors.
We’ve grouped these waterfalls by region, beginning in the Panhandle and north then working our way south.
Falling Waters State Park – Chipley (Panhandle)
Falling Waters State Park is a 173-acre park that’s considered by many one of the jewels of Northwest Florida. This is all due to its waterfall. The 73-foot waterfall flows into the mouth of a 100-foot-deep cylindrical sinkhole and disappears into a cave at the bottom. The waterfall can be heard for dozens of miles away, but you can just follow the Wire Grass boardwalk trail to it. The beautiful waterfall is an ideal place to relax and meditate about the wonders of our Earth. For the more active individuals, the lake provides an opportunity for swimming, and it even has a white sand beach.
Address: 1130 State Park Rd, Chipley, FL 32428
Torreya State Park/Weeping Ridge Trail – Bristol (Panhandle)
Weeping Ridge Falls is a small (25-feet tall) but picturesque waterfall at the end of Weeping Ridge Trail at Torreya State Park. The park is located 12 miles north of Bristol and features mountainous terrain with real cliffs. The hiking trails are among the most difficult in Florida, but you’ll be well-rewarded with amazing views. This place is truly unique, and it is also historically significant; traces of the Indians who used to live here remain.
Address: 2576 NW Torreya Park Rd, Bristol, FL 32321
Florida Trail, Econfina Creek, Fountain (Panhandle)
The Econfina Trail is a popular trail that leads visitors through rugged ravines and tunnels of mountain laurel and wild azalea. You’ll pass by a small yet lovely 10-foot-high waterfall and cross many bridges – including the impressive Fender and Two Penny. Still not convinced? According to the Florida Trail Association, this trail is considered by many hikers as the most beautiful in all of Florida.
Address: Fountain, FL 32438
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park – Gainesville (North Florida)
Located in the north-westernmost part of Gainesville, the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is most known for its large sinkhole, a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep, that was formed by the dissolution of limestone by acidic groundwater. The best time to visit is after a heavy rain, water falls down the sides of the sinkhole, creating a waterfall-like effect. Thanks to the small streams, lush vegetation thrives, even in hot dry summers. For this reason, the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a miniature rain forest here in Florida.
Address: 4732 Millhopper Rd, Gainesville, FL 32653
Falling Creek Falls – Lake City (North Florida)
This 10-foot waterfall is located on a 204 acres park that’s not currently a State Park. The park was open in 2001, so it is still fairly new. However, it quickly became one of the district’s gems thanks to the root-beer-colored cascade which plummets over a deep lip of limestone. Falling Creek Falls is a great getaway for families, as the trail can be easily done by kids.
Address: 953 NW Falling Creek Rd, Lake City, FL 32055-5374
Big Shoals State Park – White Springs (North Florida)
Big Shoals State Park is popular for featuring the largest whitewater rapids in Florida. The 28 miles of wooded trails provide opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, biking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing. Experienced canoe and kayakers can attempt to navigate the shoals, while fishing is permitted with proper licensing.
Address: 18738 SE 94th Street, White Springs, FL 32096
Camp Branch Conservation Area/Disappearing Creek – Live Oak (North Florida)
Disappearing Creek is a spectacular region with interesting geology thanks to its karst topography. Erosion created sinkholes and caves and sinkholes, making this an excellent hike to see water flowing downhill and carving its own deep ravine through the forest. But as beautiful as the trail is, it isn’t for everyone. People with balance issues or small children are not recommended to venture here.
Address: Live Oak, FL 32060
Steinhatchee Falls, Steinhatchee (North Florida)
Steinhatchee Falls is the widest waterfall in Florida. The tannic water that is so common in Florida carved deeply into the coastal limestone shelf to create this shallow yet broad waterfall. Steinhatchee Falls is a large area that includes more than 1,700 acres. The terrain around the falls is floodplain swamp, pine plantation, bottomland forest, and mixed hardwood forest. It’s a great place to spend a few hours or the whole day.
Address: Steinhatchee, FL 32359
Rainbow Springs – Dunnellon (Central Florida)
Rainbow Springs State Park is less than a 2-hour road trip from Orlando and Tampa, so it’s a great destination for those that want to escape the big city. Visitors are treated with several large man-made waterfalls and sparkling blue water. The waterfalls, sloping hills, and ornamental gardens are reminders of the Springs’ rather recent past when it was home to a mining operation. Thankfully, the mining and other similar activities are gone; only the waterfalls remain for all visitors to enjoy the beauty of undisturbed nature. This park is actually well-known for its crystal clear water for swimming and kayaking.
Address: 19158 SW 81st Pl Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34432
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – Delray Beach (South Florida)
For a taste of Japan right at your doorstep in South Florida, head to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. Okay, so this might not be your typical waterfalls in nature that you stumble across on a hiking trail or a state park. However, if you are in South Florida and yearning for a bit of tranquility with the sights and sounds of cascading water, then this place is about as good as you’ll find in such a flat region!
This center for Japanese arts and culture is located in Palm Beach County and stretches over 180 acres. The Roji-en Japanese Gardens are inspired by significant gardens of Japans. Stroll through the pine forest, bamboo grove, view the rock formations, and admire the arrangements of plants and cascading waterfalls. This is a place of tranquility where you can lay aside the chaos of the city.
Address: 4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446
Which Waterfalls in Florida Will You Explore?
Florida is home to jaw-dropping beaches and unforgettable outdoor adventures. But it’s surprising to learn that such a flat state actually has some pretty beautiful waterfalls that can be enjoyed. So put on your hiking boots and hit the trail to discover something unique that Florida has to offer!