Torreya State Park is a destination that fulfills many interests. Sitting on high bluffs above the Apalachicola River, it protects sites of natural and historic interest.
One of Florida’s oldest state parks, it boasts architecture constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. But its historic roots go much deeper.
Atop these bluffs are earthworks from the Civil War, providing a perch for soldiers to monitor ship traffic south from the port of Columbus, Georgia, the seat of shipbuilding for the Confederancy.
Crowning the crest is the Gregory House, an antebellum plantation home from 1849. And amid the deep ravines, rare plants and unusual geology to experience along the park’s trails.
Resources for exploring the area around Torreya State Park
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Address: 2576 NW Torreya Park Rd, Bristol
Restrooms: At the picnic area on the main drive
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Leashed pets welcome.
From Tallahassee, take Interstate 10 west for 40 minutes. Use the exit for Bristol to follow SR 12 south to CR 270. Follow signs along CR 270 west to the park.
About the Park
Stand atop the bluffs at Torreya and you can see right into the next time zone: across the Apalachicola River and into the hills of Grand Ridge beyond.
Along this mighty river, amid the deeply folded hills, the namesake of this park is the torreya tree, a type of yew only found in this region.
The shortest trail in the park, the Weeping Ridge Trail is only a mile round-trip, but is one of Florida’s most rugged nature trails, a steeply sloped drop to a trickling waterfall.
Established by the Florida Trail Association in the 1970s, the Torreya Hiking Trail provides a workout for backpackers. It’s made up of two loops, each with its own primitive campsite.
Day hikers tend to tackle the 7.4-mile Rock Creek Loop since it traverses the part of the park with lush bottomlands and ridgetop views across the river basin.
To its north, the 7-mile Torreya Challenge Loop delves into the uplands around Rock Creek, showcasing sandhills on the steepest inclines in the park.
A short though challenging hike the Weeping Ridge Trail offers unusual views for the state of Florida, crossing tall ridges and ending at a small waterfall.
Visitors have four options for camping, the most popular of which is the state park system’s only yurts. These canvas-covered rounded rooms provides privacy and comfort.
Twenty-nine campsites offer electric hookups for tent or RV campers. A two-bedroom accessible cabin sleeps the whole family in air-conditioned comfort.
Backpackers have use of three campsites along the Torreya Hiking Trail, the Torreya Challenge Campsite, Rock Creek Campsite, and Rock Bluff Campsite. Of these, Rock Bluff provides an incredible perch above the river.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
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
Hugging the state line with Georgia at Lake Seminole – the reservoir created by the dam where the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers form the Apalachicola – Three Rivers State Park is a prime getaway for anglers
99.3 miles. West of the Apalachicola River, the Florida Trail stitches a series of public lands together along the corridor of the Northwest Florida Greenway.