20070607

Leon Sinks Geological Area -- 6/3/07


"Welcome to the fascinating world of karst" is how the brochure begins...




Sunday, June 3rd, was a fine morning to "take a hike." Leon Sinks (or Leon Spinx, as I call it) is seven miles south of Tallahassee, and it offers a 5.4-mile trail that winds past sinkholes, swales, caverns, natural bridges, circular depressions, and cypress swamps. Truly a fascinating place. There are 20 named sinkholes, some shallow and dry, and others quite deep and always wet. I managed to snap pictures of most of the signposts, and a few of the actual sinks. The trail is alternately sunny and sandy, or shaded and carpeted with fragrant pine straw.




Hammock Sink is one of the larger sinks connected to the underground cave system that has been explored and mapped by local volunteer cave divers. The cave system is completely under water.

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Big Dismal is a deep sinkhole. It's a 100' drop to the water, another 100' drop underwater, with a cave entrance at 80' down. Looking across the sink while standing on the platform, you can see the trail on the opposite side.




Field sink is one of the dry sinks. Because of Florida's drought, water levels seemed to be down on some of the sinks, but others remain dry regardless.


The biggest surprise was the total absence of water in Bear Scratch Swamp! South Swamp had only a tiny black water pool with critter tracks surrounding it. It'll take a lot more than the nice rain the area received on Monday to fill up the swamps and sinks!

 

You can read up on karst and sinks and caves and the Florida aquifer by visiting this site:

www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/panhandleeast/trails/leon_sinks.htm