Local couple explore trail in Bristol, Florida
***Due to recent tornado activity, the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines hiking trails are CLOSED until further notice. Trails are blocked by debris and unsafe to hike at this time.***
The state of Florida has some of the most unique geological features in the entire south. From the most familiar beaches to the many crystal clear rivers, a little homework, and a willingness to wander off the beaten path can result in a pleasant reward for the outdoor adventurer.
One of these areas is known as the Garden of Eden trail. This hidden gem sits just North of highway 20 in Bristol Florida. The Garden of Eden trail is maintained by the Florida Nature Conservancy. According to their website, their mission is to “preserve the plants animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the land and waters they need to survive.”
The 3.5 mile loop trail is one of the most surprisingly beautiful hikes I’ve experienced in the state so far. Local legend claims that this was the original Garden of Eden and after leaving the trailhead it’s easy to understand why. The trail transforms from longleaf pine upland to a thick forest reminiscent of the Appalachian Mountains.
The trail skirts deep steephead ravines with abundant flourishing vegetation. After two creek crossings you are rewarded with an incredible panoramic vista overlooking the Apalachicola River. The view from the bluff rises over 130 feet and is unique to a state not known for its elevation.
This hike is very strenuous as it rises and falls over these features. Supportive shoes or boots are recommended as well having plenty of water on hand. Camping is not allowed on the property but to make a day hike of this precious area is well worth the time.
Find out more at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/regions/panhandleeast/trails/Nature_Conservancy.htm
About Brandan Babineaux
Originally from a small town on the Mississippi River just outside of New Orleans, I have always been attracted to anything related to nature and the outdoors. Leaving my home town when I was 23, I came to the 30A area before it became what it is now, spending a lot of my time exploring the abundant forests, riverbanks, coastal lakes and undeveloped beaches. While much of my career has been spent in the resort/hospitality industry, I have always searched for activities, interests and hobbies that would keep me outside.
I continue to enjoy the area beaches, woods, waterways, and the natural beauty that surrounds us in so many ways. I enjoy cycling, climbing, hiking, camping, artifcact hunting, reading, photography and writing about anything that inspires me. My goal is to soon enjoy a new career that keeps me outside, continuing to discover and explore the natural wonders of our world every day.
Brandan can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org