AUCILLA SINKS TRAIL

The Aucilla Sinks Trail is part of the Florida Trail – accessible from Monticello, Florida via Route 19 south and Route 27 to Lamont, Florida in Jefferson County

The Aucilla River emerges from swamps a few miles below Thomasville, Georgia and flows southwestwardly, passing over the Aucilla Rapids (referred to as “races” by locals) and then disappears underground a half mile north of Goose Pasture Road. This underground portion of the river is known as the Aucilla Sinks Trail and designated by USA Today as one of the ten best hiking trails in the United States.

These "sinks" are small ponds and lakes formed by windows in the limestone where you can see the underground river.

These “sinks” are small ponds and lakes formed by windows in the limestone where you can see the underground river.

Windows in the limestone to see the underground river

Windows in the limestone to see the underground river

For approximately eight miles the river appears and disappears in a series of small ponds or lakes called “rises” or “sinks.” The river continues this pattern until the great rise at Nutall 0.5 miles north of the US 98 bridge. The Aucilla is joined by the Wacissa near Nutall Rise and flows well straight south, around Ward Island and out into Apalachee Bay and the Gulf.

On Goose Pasture Rd., look for the Florida Trail kiosk on the south side of the road, just before the cattle grate; the Aucilla Sinks Trail follows along that portion of the river that rises through limestone windows and enters the woods to the south, just west of the kiosk.  There are many sinks to follow along this trail. The trail along the River portion enters the woods on the north side of the road, a bit further west of the kiosk; the “races” are about 4 miles north of this kiosk, along the River trail.

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