The beautiful Cherokee sinkhole has been a silent witness of neglect by people, who have used it for swimming and… littered it with garbage. Happily the attitude towards the sinkhole is improving lately.

Cherokee Sink is a rounded jade green pool, 90 by 50 m large, surrounded by 0.5 – 9 m high cliffs. It has steep sides under the water as well and is up to 24.4 m deep. The sinkhole was formed by a collapse of the cave chamber and most likely was considerably deeper in the past.

Lake is teeming with life – here live diverse fishes. Deeper sediments contain evidence of extinct animals: a tooth of sabertooth tiger has been found here.

For generations this lake has been a beloved place for swimming. Unfortunately, the lake has been used as an enormous waste deposit – on the bottom one can find countless bottles and cans, even motorcycles and home appliances. Next to the sinkhole is a cemetery, established in 1850. In the late 1970s, the gravestones from this cemetery were thrown in the sinkhole as well. The bottom is silted and the visibility in the water is poor. Lately, it has been prohibited to swim here due to the algal blooms. Also, the vegetation around the lake has been degraded by countless trails.

Lake with the surrounding forest was acquired by the state in 1999 and added to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. While there is ongoing fundraising for proper cleaning, some divers are gradually cleaning it already.

Groundwater analysis shows that Cherokee Sink is connected to Wakulla Spring and is a part of the longest underwater cave system in United States – the 51.4 km long Wakulla – Leon Sinks cave system. The actual passages have not been found yet and Wakulla – Leon caves are bypassing Cherokee Sink just 100 m from it.

Cherokee Sink on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 30.213 N 84.3044 W
Categories: Sinkholes, Lakes and streams
Values: Geology
Rating: 1.5 out of 10 stars
Where is located? North America, United States, Florida, Wakulla County, in Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park 2.5 km south from Wakulla Spring
Depth: 33.4 m (total, including the rims above the water)

Landmarks of Florida

Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World Resort / Benjamin Esham, / CC BY-SA 3.0 US

Florida is the tropical paradise of mainland United States. Over the last century it has experienced fabulous changes, turning from forgotten, swampy badland into densely populated and rich land. Highlights of Florida include architecture of the late 19th and 20th century as well as its giant springs and caves.


World's deepest sinkhole - Xiaozhai tiankeng, with tourist route visible
World’s deepest sinkhole – Xiaozhai tiankeng, with tourist route visible / Brookqi, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Category includes outstanding sinkholes – large natural depressions or holes, which for most part represent collapsed caves.

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