73ºF

Giant Florida sinkhole home to dozens of alligators

Park allows limited amount of visitors per week

SARASOTA, Fla. – Only in Florida would one find themselves walking two miles in the heat to watch hundreds of alligators bask in a giant sinkhole. 

It sounds like a joke, or maybe a nightmare, but the hidden hot spot exists for those daring enough to venture a couple hours away from Central Florida. And that's just the beginning of the tough travel that lies ahead. 

A limited amount of people are allowed through the gates per week at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, according to CBS affiliate WTSP-TV.


Once inside, the tough part begins.

"It is a two-mile hike each way to go to Deep Hole," park manager Stephen Giguere told WTSP, "Long hike. No facilities. No water. Be hot." 

Those who endure the hike eventually make it to the home of the gators. It consists of a 134-foot deep sinkhole formation that spans about a third of an acre.

"On a typical day in the dry season, you can see 50 to 150 to 200 alligators," Giguere said, "They congregate to this area because it's the only deep water left during dry season and it's a good source of food."

Park volunteers believe as the day gets hotter, there could be around 100 gators lurking just below the surface. 

"General rule, 100 feet minimum should be safe," Giguere said, "Alligators can run 35 miles per hour in short bursts."

Click here to read more about Myakka River State Park. 


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