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Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site




Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site
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General Information

Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site
Description - Devil's Millhopper gets its unique name from its funnel-like shape. During the 1880s, farmers used to grind grain in gristmills. On the top of the mill was a funnel-shaped container called a "hopper" that held the grain as it was fed into the grinder. Because fossilized bones and teeth from early life forms have been found at the bottom of the sink, legend has it that the millhopper was what fed bodies to the devil. Hence, Devil's Millhopper.

The sinkhole is 120 feet deep and 500 feet across. A one-half mile nature trail follows the rim, and there is a 232-step stairway to the bottom of the sink. The state purchased this site in 1974, and the stairs were completed in 1976.

Attractions - As a significant geological formation, Devil's Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark. Since the early 1880s, tourists and scientists have visited this natural historic site. The massive sinkhole was formed when an underground cavern roof collapsed. Today, visitors can view lovely small streams plunging along the edges of lush plant life making their way into the sink.

Researchers have learned a great deal about Florida's natural history by studying fossil shark teeth, marine shells and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals found in the sink. Another interesting fact is that many of the park's animals are similar to those of the Appalachian Mountains region.

Recreation - The sinkhole may be explored from the boardwalks and stairways or from the 4-foot wide nature trail that follows the rim. A visitor center provides an extensive look at sinkhole mysteries.

Climate - Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The area offers a great warm escape for outdoor recreation during the cold northern months. Summer temperatures average in the low 80's Fahrenheit and mid 20's Celsius. Winters are mild with temperatures averaging between the high 40's to the high 50's Fahrenheit. The average precipitation for the north central area is diverse. The central western area receives more than 60 inches per year while the central eastern tract receives about 50 inches. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.

Location - Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site is located in northeast Florida, two miles northwest of Gainesville off S.R. 232.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Devil's Millhopper State Geological Area, 4732 Millhopper Road , Gainesville, FL, 32606, Phone: 352-955-2008

Additional Information:
Florida State Parks - The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.
North Central Florida - North Central Florida is the site of the state's capitol and an underground cave system that is known worldwide among cave divers.

Links:
Florida Division of Recreation & Parks - Official agency website.

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