Geology & Geomorphology of Washington County, Florida (5-6 November 2021)

Posted on: September 16th, 2021 by segsmember


Explore the “Stonehenge-like” boulders of Rock Hill, the geologic beauty of Falling Waters State Park, and the only exposures of the Bridgestone Limestone in Florida! Per-person fee for SEGS members and guests thereof includes Subway box lunch, hardcopy guidebook, and site entry. Registration closed.

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This field trip was first scheduled in October of 2018, but cancelled thanks to Hurricane Michael. It was postponed until April of 2020, but cancelled again courtesy of Covid-19 (two additional dates were considered, but scrapped, also because of the virus). They say only persistence accomplishes anything, so we need to try one more time!

Washington County, in the central Florida panhandle, has some surprising geological diversity. Friday evening dinner and presentations in Chipley will review the geomorphology, geology, and archaeology of the area. Saturday field trip will first explore the poorly known area called Rock Hill—a very high erosional outlier with “Stonehenge-like” residual boulders. Rock Hill is scarcely mentioned in the geological literature, and difficult to get into. We have access to it through the Florida Nature Conservancy.

The second stop is the must-see Falling Waters State Park, with its 70-foot high waterfall that drops through a solution pipe and into a swallet/cave system. There are also excellent views of many cover collapse sinkholes. Falling Waters is the location of one of the early oil test wells (1920) in Florida and some of drilling equipment remains. The well reached into the Late Cretaceous (but no oil). Falling Waters was hit hard by Hurricane Michael, but has recovered nicely, with new boardwalks and scenic overlooks. FWSP was recently designated a State Geological Site. We will also discuss the stratigraphy and paleontology of the Bridgeboro Limestone, a fossiliferous and rhodolith-rich facies, equivalent, in part, to the Suwannee Limestone of the Florida peninsula. The

Chipley area has the only Florida exposures of the Bridgeboro.  “New” exposures of the Bridgeboro have recently been discovered by the Florida Geological Survey using LiDAR and we will visit some of these outcrops. Fieldtrip organizers: Jon Bryan, Carl Froede, and Harley Means.

This trip is available to SEGS members. Field trip fee is $40, and includes a hardcopy field guide (which has been supplemented with new material since the original trip was planned), box lunch (Subway), and entrance to Rock Hill and Falling Waters State Park.

Registration is due by 27 October 2021.


(*Note: This weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time, so we gain the extra hour at midnight Saturday. All the better for an SEGS trip! Also, note that Washington County is in the Central Time Zone.)

6:00 PM (Central Daylight Time), Friday, 5 November 2021

Meet at Javier’s Mexican Grill (1414 Main St., Chipley, FL  32428; Phone: 850-638-2270). The restaurant has 2 large rooms and we have reserved one of them for dinner and presentations. Presentations on the geology and geomorphology of the area by Harley Means, Carl Froede, and Jon Bryan. Lodging at nearby Comfort Inn & Suites.

8:00 AM (CDT), Saturday, 6 November 2021

Assemble at parking lot of Comfort Inn and Suites (1140 Motel Dr., Chipley, FL  32428). Convoy to designated area and use 4WD vehicles (only) to enter the Rock Hill property. Depending on the number of 4WD vehicles available, we will have to make a couple of runs to get everyone in (the entrance is only ~2.5 miles from town). After Rock Hill, we will return to Chipley to retrieve any vehicles, and convoy to Falling Waters State Park on SR-77A (Falling Waters Road, ~ 6 miles). Lunch at FWSP. Final stops in Chipley area to collect Bridgeboro Limestone.


We recommend reserving a room at Comfort Inn & Suites in Chipley for Friday evening, November 5th. A rate is $109/night was recently quoted for SEGS (normally $129), but other discounts or points may apply. Plans for Friday evening dinner and presentations are still in progress, and will be forthcoming ASAP.

Comfort Inn & Suites
1140 Motel Dr.
Chipley, FL  32428
Website| Phone: 850-415-1111

Age and Safety Restrictions

We will be asking members to follow all federal, state, and local guidelines to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. We have updated our waivers to reflect the seriousness of the novel disease. Drinks, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended. Minors welcome with waiver and accompanying adult.

Registration and Fees

  • The price is $40 for current SEGS members and guests of attending SEGS members.
  • A hardcopy guidebook, Subway box lunch, and site entry is included with your fee. Guidebook #34 from a previous trip can also be downloaded.
  • For efficiency, SEGS will be limiting signups to electronic registration only, with manual registration available only on request.

Electronic Registration

  • At the top of the page, in the dropdown, please select the appropriate option and click “Add to Cart” to register for the trip.
  • During checkout, you will be routed to a waiver you can sign electronically, and then to the registration and payment form. Since every participant needs to complete a waiver, you can only register one person at a time, but it’s fast!
  • If you have trouble with the electronic registration, please email for a manual registration option.

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