If you were to survey random people about what Florida is most famous for, you’d likely get a variety of answers that describe the beautiful beaches, the stunning sunsets, and the tourist trade that centers around a mouse. Few would mention the acres of flora and fauna that grace the state with lush, green foliage or the striking dashes of color that dot the landscape in wildflower patches. For those near the panhandle, however, it is apparent why Ponce de Leon declared the land, La Florida, “the land of flowers”.
The Panhandle is ideal for wildflowers due to the large amounts of public land, filled with the perfect combination of slightly acidic, moist sand-soil. Even more ideal, the land is regularly managed with prescribed burns, creating conditions that give wildflowers everything they need to thrive. What does that mean? It means that guests at Alliance Hill RV Resort are perfectly situated to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery Florida has to offer, located miles away from the beach.
Wildflowers play an important role in the Florida landscape. As native plants, they require less amounts of water, fertilizers, and pesticides than other types of plants. They provide native wildlife with habitat and food, and are hardy plants that can sustain both the wet afternoons of spring and the heat of summer days. Often mischaracterized as ‘weeds’, these beautiful flowers will captivate you as you study their beauty and their function.
Want to explore this unknown side of Florida’s landscape? You’re in luck. Located near I-10, the Florida Wildflower Foundation has identified a route through the Eastern Panhandle known as the Wildflower Trail. Their interactive website makes it easy to follow the wildflowers across the state, and provides an identification guide to help you track what you’re seeing. With user submitted photos, you can see just what’s blooming (and where) and even submit your own wildflower images.
How many of Florida’s native wildflowers can you spot on your journey through the Panhandle? We’d love to see your pictures! Call today to reserve your site at Alliance Hill RV Resort…the flowers are waiting! http://ow.ly/bBMN30bIEAA
Looking to explore the natural treasures hiding amongst North Florida’s forests? The ideal location and Southern charm of Alliance Hill RV Resort offers RVers a perfect launch point, proving that you don’t need white sand beaches to experience the perfect Florida vacation!
Spring came early to North Florida this year, sweeping in mid-afternoon showers, pollen from blooming flowers, and, of course, adventurous RVers. With summer just around the corner, Marianna temperatures will soon reach 90 degrees – a dream for Florida vacationers and sun-seeking RV owners.
Unlike Central and South Florida, North Florida’s most beautiful scenery isn’t white sand beaches; they’re karst formations or landscapes formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks from years of trickling water. Trade in getting sand lodged between your toes (and other places) for swimming in the bluest of freshwater springs or hiking amongst old growth forests. From springs to creeks and underwater caves to dry caverns, North Florida’s breathtaking natural wonders present RVers with a truly unique Florida experience.
Jackson Blue Springs Recreation Area, conveniently located five miles east of Marianna, is a natural freshwater spring with a sprawling underwater cave system. Nature enthusiasts can hike the wooded trails surrounding the springhead and expect to see native wildlife like herons, cormorants, and ibis, as well as turtles. Experienced scuba divers can rent diving equipment from Cave Adventurers to explore the magnificent underwater cave complex. Or if you’re just looking to bask in the blue waters, individuals can rent tubes, canoes, and paddle boats.
Blue Springs is located at 5461 Blue Springs Highway Marianna, FL 32447. The spring opens to the public the weekend of May 28th and will remain open seven days a week until August 7th, at which point it will only be open on weekends until September 5th. There is an admission fee of $4.00 per person and the park gates open at 9:30am and close at 6:00pm. Guests are encouraged to arrive earlier given the location’s massive popularity amongst tourists and locals, alike.
Individuals can rent canoes or paddle boats for $10.00/hour or rent tubes, volleyballs, and basketballs for $1.00/hour. There is a fee of $30.00 to dive in the limestone caves. To learn more about planning a day trip to Blue Springs call (850)-482-2114 or visit their website: Blue Springs.
You can thank thousands of years of water erosion for the glistening and spectacular caves at Florida Caverns State Park. A beautiful example of the karst topography that dominates the North Florida region, the dry caverns offer vacationers a unique respite from the Sunshine State’s iconic beaches. Stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws and flowstones decorate the air-filled caves, creating a mesmerizing display of limestone formations.
Visitors can explore the vast caverns on guided 45-minute tours that are available five days a week except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The tour is considered to be moderately strenuous, so individuals with certain disabilities or health concerns can call the Ranger Station at (850)-482-1228 to better understand the tour’s difficulty. In addition, an audiovisual program can be viewed at specific areas of the park and at the visitor center.
Florida Caverns State Park isn’t all about exploring cave passages, either. Visitors can play a round of golf on the park’s nine-hole golf course dating back to the New-Deal era. Or, individuals can fish or boat along the Chipola River, which has its own boat ramp, and swim or canoe on Blue Hole spring, a refreshing 2-vent spring.
The park is located at 3345 Caverns Road Marianna, FL 32446, just three miles north of downtown Marianna. The park opens at 8:00am and is open 365 days a year, except for major holidays. There is an admission fee of $5.00 per vehicle with a maximum capacity of 2-8 passengers and $2.00 for pedestrians, bicyclists, and extra passengers. Learn more about the state park or book your guided cave tour on their website: Florida Caverns State Park
Want to spend the day floating in Florida’s emerald waters? Then Bear Paw Escape is for you! Visitors can float along the Chipola River in rental tubes, kayaks or canoes and enjoy spectacular views of old growth forests, freshwater springs and winding creeks.
Guests wanting to rent a tube can choose between five different types: a regular black tube for $15.00, a caddilac tube for $20.00, big bertha (fits two) for $30.00, the air head boat shaped tube for $25.00 and the wow zoom for $40.00 (fits two). There’s only one tubing trip offered, which takes visitors on a four-hour floating excursion down Spring Creek.If you want a more fast-paced river adventure, visitors can rent a kayak or canoe for $35.00 and choose between three different river trips, as well as the Spring Creek trip. There’s the Hinson Trip, which takes three hours for canoes and two hours for kayaks to finish and features a large cavern and several freshwater springs. The Yancey Bridge trip will take five hours by canoe or three and a half hours by kayak to complete the 9.8-mile aquatic journey. The last option, the Peacock Bridge Trip, is an ideal route for experienced or daring handlers as the trip features several small whitewater rapids. It will take visitors four and a half hours to float by canoe and three and half hours by kayak to finish this 14-mile adventure.
Bear Paw is located at 2100 Bear Paw Lane Marianna, FL 32448 and opens every day at 8:00am. All trips include a parking pass, shuttle pass, and necessary equipment. Bear Paw escapees purchase their trip options at the Bear Paw office, park their vehicle in the parking lot and then wait for a shuttle to take them to the launch destination. It is very important to note that Bear Paw does not offer instructions on how to use equipment and doesn’t have lifeguards or perform rescue missions.
To learn more about Bear Paw Escape’s river trips, prices and rules check out their website at BearPawEscape.com or call (850)-482-4948.
Florida-bound RVers and Big Rig owners can park their RV overnight or even stay for a month on our spacious 65 ft lots equipped with 30-amp and 50-amp hookups, as well as sewer, water, and electrical service. The Resort is a gated community, offering peace-of-mind during your stay as well as plenty of entertainment with the park’s swimming pool, clubhouse, and dog park.