The Winter Park Sinkhole  LbNA # 29339

Placed DateMar 19 2007
LocationWinter Park, FL
Found By JRD squared
Last Found Mar 7 2009
Hike Distance?

**This is our first plant and to commemorate such an occasion we've placed a First Finder's Prize, happy hunting to all!**

Difficulty: easy terrain

The Recreational Park where the Winter Park Sinkhole can be found includes restrooms, free admission, a playground, basketball court, soccer and baseball fields.

The Park is open from dawn to dusk.

The Winter Park Sinkhole is located at the intersection of Fairbanks Avenue and Denning Drive. From I-4 you can take Exit 87 Fairbanks Avenue and turn right. You will continue down this road until you find the intersection of Denning Dr. There will be a Dry Cleaners (Imperial Laundry) on the corner. Turn left here. If perchance you continue down Fairbanks you can take advantage of the wonderful history Winter Park has to offer including the exquisite Rollins College and Park Avenue shopping. For more about Winter Park; follow this link for more info

But for now, it's the Sinkhole you're after, so let's continue. In May of 1981, during a period of record-low water levels in Florida's limestone aquifer, a massive sinkhole opened up near the corner of Denning Drive and Fairbanks Avenue. In a single day the hole widened to 320 feet and to a depth of 90 feet, destroying an import car dealership, a public pool, and large portions of Denning Drive. City engineers managed to stabilize the sinkhole, which drew national attention and became a popular tourist attraction during the summer of 1981. A carnival-like atmosphere sprung up around the area, with vendors selling food, balloons, and t-shirts to visitors.

The Winter Park Sinkhole is not like it first appeared over a decade ago. It's now been turned into a small lake and is surrounded by a recreational park.

After you turn down Denning you are going to see a sports complex on your left and shortly thereafter there will be a parking lot in front of a children's playground on the same side of the road. You will want to park there.

You will come across a sidewalk path on the SW corner of the parking lot. Follow this path that will lead you behind the restrooms.

Soon you will come across a junction where the path leads three different directions. There will be a lampost in the center of this intersection. Take the path that heads south.

As you continue down the path a body of water will appear in the distance this is the site of the infamous Winter Park Sinkhole! You will head past the bleachers and continue to the Sinkhole until you come to a fork in the sidewalk. Take the path that leads left.

You will follow this path until you almost intersect with Denning Drive. You will see another lampost at the corner. Stand beside the lampost and face South.
Take approximately 75 steps southward from the lampost. Careful of your footing because you start to feel the incline of the old Sinkhole now!

You should come across a young oak tree after taking those steps. At the tree continue to face south. You shouldsee a patch of Saw Grass and the first pair of young pine trees in front of you a few yards away.

Look amidst the brush at the inner base of the Pine on the right and claim the Letterbox! (You may want to use a stick to pull the dead brush away) Congratulations! You have just explored The mouth of Winter Park Sinkhole. Dormant after so many years (we hope!)

We chose this location for the letterbox because it was a good angle to view the Sinkhole Lake and if you look at the opposite bank you can literally still see how the trees and earth still seem to be sloping into the old sinkhole. Great photo spot.

Don't forget to readd the brush to conceal the box. Thank you and hope you enjoyed our first placement!