Dames Cave is a 1.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Brooksville, Florida that features a cave and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
45 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

views

The Dames Cave area is located in the Citrus Tract portion of the Withlacoochee State Forest in Citrus County, Florida and are found on a western portion of the Brooksville Ridge physiographic region. This landscape is dominated by karst landforms including uvalas, dolines, solution valleys, and caves. Geologically, the caves are among the oldest in Florida. The entrance trail to the Dames Caves is located south of Lecanto, Florida on highway 491. After passing the Central Florida Community College and traveling southbound for several miles, on the left hand side is a series of cement posts, a dirt road turnoff and a small garbage can. Quite possibly there will be several cars already parked there, as these will be the only indicators that one of Florida's most unique and oldest cave systems is just a short jaunt off of this straight and narrow farm road. Parking is free, but is at your own risk, mainly because there are no designated parking spots. A short half-mile trail leads off into the Withlacoochee State Forest. Once again, no trails are marked, but heading directly east will bring you to the opening of one of the most popular caves. Surrounded by several concrete posts and heavy gauge wire, the opening to Vandal Cave appears before your eyes. One of the best spot for pictures, this cave opening is actually an ancient roof collapse. Part of the roof is still connected and creates a land bridge that can be easily walked across by daring individuals. A small side cave allows access into the inner cave system. Once inside you can see why it is called Vandal Cave. Graffiti and other damage can be seen throughout, explaining why this cave system is so hard to find. Other smaller caves branch off from this Vandal Cave and range in a variety of difficulties of exploration from simple head ducking and flashlight exploring to belly-slinking and crawling through tight spots in the mud. Open sunrise to sunset, no camping, fires, or alcohol allowed

hiking
1 month ago

I Use this trail along with Lizzie heart sink trail 4 to 5 times a week

2 months ago

we went in early Sept and it's still a bit too warm and the amount of rain has the caves a bit soggy. this is more of a late fall,winter and early spring hike than summer in Sept lol

3 months ago

a must see if you are in the area. tons of caves. if you follow the main trail straight back you will run into the main cluster of caves. off to the left Is another trail that leads you to another group of nice large caves and if you keep walking straight there is another set. if you are into back country hiking there are a few backpacking campsites a mile or two away. beautiful landscapes all around the area of you explore further down the trails

had a great time with my 3 and 7 yr old.

5 months ago

Not much for walking, but there are three really cool caves that you have to squeeze through. Once you get through the tiny crevices the caves open up a decent amount really cool to see in Florida

walking
6 months ago

Easy walk - caves are interesting- worth it.

nature trips
10 months ago

Tons of caves that you can get into, but watch for broken glass.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Caves have graffiti but I think it gives them character

5 days ago

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Monday, October 30, 2017

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