See one of Florida’s fabulous but little known waterfalls on a short walk just north of Lake City. Take a quick detour from I-10 to see a spectacular root-beer-colored cascade, which plummets more than 10 feet over a deep lip of limestone and flows away over limestone boulders at the bottom of a ravine. Falling Creek Falls was the site of the first settlement in this area, and this short accessible boardwalk trail offers easy access to the scenic view. A new loop trail extends your walk in the woods past rapids in the creek.
Location: Falling Creek
Length: 0.6 mile loop
Lat-Long: 30.257817, -82.668633
Type: round-trip with loop
Fees / Permits: none
Good for: birding, children, geology, history, wheelchairs
Difficulty: 1 of 5
Bug factor: 2 of 5
There are restrooms, picnic tables and a playground at the trailhead, as well as several historic structures from the original settlement of Falling Creek.
From I-10 exit 301 drive north on US 41; immediately turn right on Falling Creek Rd (CR 131) and drive 0.8 mile to the trailhead parking area on the right.
It’s a short stroll from the trailhead through an open meadow into the lush woods surrounding Falling Creek, a tributary of the Suwannee River. A well-built boardwalk winds through a floodplain forest of bald cypress, sweetgum, and magnolia.
You hear the falls well before you see them. At not quite 1/4 mile, you reach an observation platform overlooking the burbling tannic water. Stand and enjoy the cool rush of air and the ambiance of one of Florida’s rare natural waterfalls before you continue to the end of the boardwalk for a pretty picture – the waterfall framed by the forest.
Return along the boardwalk, and turn left at the junction with the boardwalk you saw coming in. The boardwalk ends and drops you down on a trail in an upland forest, upstream from the falls, where you’ll hear the burble of water through rocky rapids. The footpath affords a few views of the waterway before it turns away and heads deeper into the woods. Emerging in an open grassy area, it swings right and drops you off at the children’s playground and restrooms at one end of the parking area.
0.1 boardwalk starts
0.2 jct boardwalk
0.3 boardwalk ends, return
0.4 left onto side boardwalk
0.4 boardwalk ends
0.6 end of loop behind playground