Size: 2 acres
Date conserved: 1997
Herzog Cave was given to ACT as part of an agreement connected with the development of Haile Plantation. The main features of the donated property are a chimney sink and what had been a nearby small population of poppy mallow (Callirhoe papaver), a perennial herbaceous plant which is listed as endangered in Florida.
The two acres surrounding Herzog Cave and the access easement granted to ACT by the Haile Plantation developer are located within a larger undeveloped portion of Haile Plantation which serves as the common area and drainage easement for Cameron Park and Prestonwood.
Historically, the Herzog Cave Preserve, as well as much of what is now Haile Plantation, was likely covered with vegetation dominated by longleaf pines and species of oaks found in uplands. There are still a few remnant longleaf pines and southern red oaks nearby. The whole area was subject to frequent low intensity fires. Today the preserve consists of a wooded area containing various species of hardwoods and lower-story bushes, vines, and flowering plants.
From its small opening the cave drops 32 feet straight down, like a natural well, into a partially-flooded room. One side of the room plunges underwater to a second room within the Floridan Aquifer, some 20 feet below the ground water surface. The entrance is covered by a locked steel gate. The gate helps protect people, pets, and the cave. The open design of the gate allows air, water, vegetable debris, and small animals to enter the cave. So far as is known, the cave is not utilized by bats.
No access is currently available.