Devils Den is unlike any other place I’ve seen in Florida. It’s essentially an underground hollow in the shape of a gigantic mushroom cap with a hole in the top to the outside. In this hollow is a beautiful and clear Florida spring.
My trip there took place on a pleasant, sunny Saturday in November. The temperature that day hit a high of about 80 degrees. This was one of those exquisite Florida autumn days that make you glad you’re here.
Leaving the small town of Williston, I put the address for Devil’s Den—5390 N.E. 180th Avenue—in the maps program on my phone, and went straight there. The spring is located on about 40 acres outside of town, down a dirt road, and through some beautiful horse farm country.
The Den is situated in a beautiful rural Florida setting.
Upon arriving, I was greeted by Burton, one of the friendly and helpful employees, who quickly oriented me to the setting. After getting into my wet suit, I took mask, snorkel, and fins, and excitedly went down into the grotto, filming on the way down with my pocket video camera.
After donning all my gear, I got into the chilly 72-degree water to join a party of SCUBA divers from South Carolina. For the next 45 minutes or so, I snorkeled around, taking photos, and videoing here and there.
The Den Contains a Play of Darkness and Light
The contrasting light and darkness was beautifully eerie. The photo below shows a shaft of light penetrating the grotto.
Let There Be Light
To better show what it's like, I took this short video of some SCUBA divers while I was snorkeling in the Den:
After exploring the place to my satisfaction, I was soon in dry clothes once more, and back up top in the bright sunlight.
You can rent diving and snorkeling gear at Devils Den, plus they will fill SCUBA tanks.
Camping and Lodging
For overnight stays, Devils Den has an RV Park and two cabins, and a double-wide trailer for rent. The RV park has water and electricity. And, of course, so do the cabins and trailer. I’m not sure how many RV sites they have, but I saw probably more than a dozen.
Devils Den RV Park
Also, there’s a tent-camping area. Bathrooms with hot showers are available.
Devils Den Tent Camping
There's also a swimming pool.
Devils Den Swimming Pool
One Hour Horseback Rides on Woodsy Trails
While exploring the area, I saw a few horseback riders, and stopped to inquire about riding. The instructor, Heidi, said they have woodsy horse trails, and one-hour rides along those trails. I thought this would be a great place to camp, dive in the grotto, and go horseback riding, all in one place. For total info on the horses, call Heidi at 352-339-2026.
Cedar Lakes Gardens
Heidi said that adjoining the property is Cedar Lakes Ranch, which has some beautiful gardens, and that if I didn’t mind a short walk we could walk for a time with the riders to see the gardens. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting what we saw—a high-up view overlooking an old quarry that has been turned into some exquisite gardens out of a labor of love.
Looks Like a Hollywood Movie Set
It was like something from a movie set. After seeing bubbles in the waters, I inquired if someone was diving down there, and why. The answer, I was told, is that the bubbles are aerators for the water. After seeing some huge gold carp in there, I figured that’s why they have the aerators.