While researching Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders, I had the honor of a visit to Angus Gholson’s herbarium in Chattahoochee, as well as a guided hike through the new Gholson Nature Park, a wonderland of rare wildflowers.
There is something magical about the Apalachicola River, from its beginning at the Georgia/Florida border to its broad flow out to the Gulf of Mexico. In the deeply folded landscapes along its upper shores, ravines host some of the rarest plants in Florida.
Above the Apalachicola River, the community of Chattahoochee hides a natural treasure in its deep ravines—a park named for its native son, botanist Angus Gholson.
Around Apalachicola, the “Forgotten Coast” is dotted with parks, forests, and refuges along US 98 and the barrier islands, none of which are easily accessed from Tallahassee or Panama City.
The Apalachicola National Forest is the largest National Forest in Florida, sweeping around the southern edge of Tallahassee. It is noted for its botanical beauty.
A small town along the Florida Trail, Blountstown got its start as a destination along the Apalachicola River. It is the seat of Calhoun County.
Connecting neighborhoods, parks, and services within a historic Apalachicola River town, the paved 3.9-mile Blountstown Greenway includes a segment of the Florida Trail
Chapman Botanical Garden honors the memory of Dr. Alvan Wentworth Chapman, a noted botanist who in 1860 published Flora of the United States. Adjoins the Orman House
Chattahoochee Nature Trails system treats hikers to an exploration of botanically-rich habitats along bluffs and ravines near the Apalachicola River and an archaeological site towering over the river’s edge.
At Fort Gadsden, a gentle walk in the Apalachicola National Forest leads you through the well-interpreted historic site and a pine forest where wildflowers thrive.
Try one of Florida’s toughest day hikes on for size: local legend has it this was the Garden of Eden, and from the lush forests and rare flora along this trek, they might be on to something