Description - Florida Caverns State Park is significant in the 20th century history of Florida as one of nine elements of the New Deal-inspired Florida State Park System and as one of the physical expressions of early 20th century recreational planning. During the Great Depression and the Stock Market crash of 1929, one out of every four workers was out of work. The solution to place people back to work was President Roosevelt's "New Deal." One of the most popular "New Deal" agencies was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Florida Caverns State Park
Florida Caverns State Park came into the Florida Park System in 1935, when the CCC installed Company 4453 (Florida State Park #6) on the site. Development of the park began immediately. At this time the CCC and WPA were constructing the park facilities and roadways. In March of 1937 a government surveyor, Oliver Chalifeaux, discovered where a fallen tree had exposed a new cavern. When he crawled into this room, he first discovered the beautiful formations of what is now the present Florida Caverns Tour Cave. After this discovery, the CCC installed an additional company - Company 1445 at this site and continued the excavation and development of the tour cave until 1942. The tour cave, covering an area of nearly 2 acres and the park, has been open for public enjoyment since 1942. Since this time dedicated Florida Park Service staff have played a vital role in the success of Florida Caverns State Park.
- Equal in beauty to such famous sites as Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns, the caves at Florida Caverns State Park contain dazzling formation of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, rimstones, flowstones and draperies. Guided cavern tours and an audio-visual program are offered to interpret the caverns and other natural features of the park. Although the caverns are the focal point of the park, the 1300-acre grounds also boast a wide variety of plants, animals and other natural resources.
Recreation - Florida Caverns State Park offers a variety of activities including boating, camping, picnicking, hiking, swimming, campfire circles, horse trails, canoeing, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The scenic Chipola River and the Florida Cavern are the main attractions. The park even has a 9-hole golf course.
Climate - The panhandle area of Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The average summer temperatures reach well above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild with temperatures averaging below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). The average precipitation for the panhandle area is more than 60 inches per year. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.
Florida Caverns is located 3 miles north of Marianna, off U.S. 90 on S.R. 166.