state forest

Dames Caves and Peace Cave

Located near Brookesville in the Withlacoochee State Forest, this is a decent drive away from us but well worth it to explore dry caves. Yes, above ground caves in Florida ! They are gorgeous and so much fun. We went for the first time around September of last year but I knew we would be back eventually. It’s just such a different adventure than what we usually do and you really can get in there and explore depending on how dirty you’re willing to get and if you aren’t afraid of small spaces.

There are 4-5 caves to check out: some will have small spaces that you can walk through and it opens into a bigger den, some you can crawl back pretty far ( I didn’t go all the way but one of the kids did), there are a couple openings that look like cliff edges inside. You definitely want to have a flashlight to get the full exploring experience and ideally you’d want a headlamp so your hands are free. The cave is cool in temperature and can be very slick when climbing in and out of them. This last time we went the bottoms were muddy because of all the rain but they weren’t unmanageable and the trail leading up to them wasn’t bad either.

I think I slipped a few times and I know my friend did on the way going into one of them but no one got hurt and everyone left with a good bit of mud on them 😀

There aren’t any bathrooms at the entrance we used which is a parking area off the side of the road and not an official state forest entrance so there is no fee box. Unfortunately camping is prohibited but there are many other places within the forest that you can camp out at !


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