also known as “Vandal Cave”
Caving / Spelunking in Florida
Withlacoochee State Forest
Dames Cave is located in Withlacoochee State Forest which offers a karst landscape. Karst regions host acquifers, limestone, dolomite, caves, uvalas, dolines, and solution valleys. The Citrus Tract portion is located just north of Tampa. This cave system is geologically one of the oldest caves in Florida.
There are at least 4 entrances accessible along trail 22. Three are near one another and the other is further east. Dames Cave is argueably the most heavily visited cave in the region. As a result, it has been mistreated by visitors. It’s easy to see why it’s also referred to as Vandal Cave. The walls are lined with spray painted slogans and damage to the cave can be seen throughout.
Caves are natural wonders and should not be mistreated. They are the perfect habitat for bats which should not be disturbed. So, do not bother them and they will not bother you. Unfortunately there are some who will ruin nature’s beautiful creations for future generations. This cave system may soon be closed off to the public to preserve this once beautiful cave.
“Special thanks to Allen for informing us about this cave”