Explore natural wonders along the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve’s Garden of Eden Trail
Get on your hiking boots, grab on to your trekking poles and head out to the Garden of Eden Trail. This 3.3 mi. steephead ravine and bluff in Bristol is one of Northwest Florida’s most beautiful hikes.
Situated adjacent to the Apalachicola River in Bristol, Florida, the trail is located within the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. Owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy, the trail is open to the public for hiking from dawn to dusk, year-round.
The Trail begins along a restored long leaf pine/wiregrass upland area. Like most of Northwest Florida, this area was once cleared by timber production years ago. In 1985, the Nature Conservancy started restoration of this sandhill area, and today it boasts an abundance of long leaf, wiregrass and turkey oak. Click here to continue
Hike, camp along the Apalachicola River bluffs at Torreya State Park
Tucked away off the beaten path 13 miles north of Bristol, is the beautiful Torreya State Park. Perched 150 feet above Apalachicola River bluffs, this park offers plentiful scenery for the nature lover and day hiker.
Torreya State Park was named after the endangered Torreya (Torreya taxifolia), a tree that was once plentiful within the park. More than 60 years ago, a fungal blight almost wiped out the tree, leaving only a handful of these pines left. These lovely conifers can now only be found along the high bluffs of the river.
Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s, Torreya is popular for camping, hiking, and picnicking. For those not familiar with CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps provided jobs for thousands of young men in need of work during the Great Depression. Their labor, in turn, helped create some of Florida’s first state parks. Click here to continue
Explore nature along three trails in Bear Creek Educational Forest
A wealth of wildlife, birds and wildflowers await visitors to Bear Creek Educational Forest just west of Tallahassee in Quincy. Located within the Lake Talquin State Forest, Bear Creek focuses on education, with an array of learning experiences for visitors.
This 492-acre tract of the forest meanders through many natural communities including wetlands, sandhills and dramatic steephead ravines. Along with a variety of birds and wildlife, an abundance of tree species are found in the forest.
There are three trails marked with orange (3 miles), blue (2 miles), and green (3/4 mile ADA trail) blazes. Parts of the forest are audio enhanced along the trail where the trees tell their own stories.
• The Living Forest Trail (green) starts at the parking area and ends at the observation deck. The trail has a hard paved surface and is .66 miles in length round-trip.
• The Ravine Trail (blue) starts near the observation deck and loops around the pond. This 1.8-mile trail is moderately strenuous with steep inclines. The Ravine trail is a designated Trailwalker program trail.
• The Bear Creek Trail (orange) begins across Beaver Dam. This trail skirts Bear Creek and traverses a range of ecosystems within a span of 3 miles. The hike is moderately strenuous, with steep inclines and narrow footing in some areas. A ½ mile spur of the Bear Creek trail connects Pittman Dam to the top of the ravine. Click here to continue