However, when we arrived we found that it had "gone dark". This happens when heavy rains allow the nearby river to rise above its banks and the tannin-filled water overwhelms the spring, making it as dark as the river. We'd made the long drive for nothing!
So we drove to another nearby spring only to find that it, too, had been blotted out by the river.
After that, we just drove back toward Ochlockonee River State Park and on the way we turned off the main road to see the Leon Sinks Geological Area. This was interesting and entertaining. Classic karst geological formations wherein the limestone caprock collapses into the systems of caves and aquifers to form circular lakes and dry pits. Leon Sinks is quite extensive and is home to several miles of walking trails and informational signs, kiosks, overlooks, and boardwalks.
The trip to Leon Sinks salvaged what would otherwise have been a truly disappointing day.
|A former "wet" sink that's now a cave opening.|
|Tupelo gums in one of the swamps at the Leon Sinks.|
|This was a nice area with lots of exposed limestone illustrating what goes on with the local geology.|
|One of the medium-sized sinks on the trail.|
|This limestone formation was at the top of the steep cliff face plunging down to a large sink. Because of the heavy vegetation I couldn't see into the sink itself, even when I used the pillar of limestone as a vantage point.|
Dismal Sink, the largest of the bunch.
|Dismal Sink, the largest one in the area. Once people went there to swim, but these days swimming is not allowed. The trail down the 100-foot walls is now closed off.|
|Formerly common across Florida, the state is trying to restore the Longleaf pine ecosystems that were almost eradicated. Here there was a grove of them regenerating.|
|This was Hammock Sink. Another of the larger ones and which was a popular swimming hole back in the day. The water here was pretty clear and I can see where it would be an attractive place to go swimming and snorkeling.|
Hammock Sink, the most attractive of the lot.