One of the most rugged hikes in Florida, the Torreya Trail treats you to an billowing landscape of bluffs and ravines, rising to 300 feet above the Apalachicola River at Logan’s Bluff. The unique landscape houses unusual plant communities, including some of the rarest species in the state, including Ashe magnolia, torreya (“stinking cedar”), and Florida yew tree. You’ll also see remains of Confederate earthwork gun batteries used to shell passing ships from the high bluffs.
Visit in late spring for optimal magnolia blooms—there are several rare varieties that only grow along these bluffs. Pause at the Red Rock scenic area to enjoy the cliffs.
Location: Rock Bluff
Length: Two loops: the River Bluff Loop Trail of 7.3 miles, and the Rock Creek Loop Trail (used to extend the hike into a backpacking trip) of 7.2 miles.
Lat-Long: 30.577133, -84.949083
Fees / Permits: Florida State Park fee
Bug factor: Low
Restroom: At the Gregory House complex
The trails are shown in the park brochure and in a detailed backpacking map available from the Florida Trail Association. Stop in at the Gregory House to let rangers know if you plan to backpack the loop; there is a small fee for primitive camping. Potable water is available at the park entrance parking lot, campground, picnic area, and Gregory House; boil or treat all surface water sources.
Follow SR 12 south from the I-10 exit for Bristol to CR 270. Follow signs along CR 270 west to the park. There is a trailhead on the left immediately after the pay station for the park. You can also access the trail system (per the above coordinates) in front of the Gregory House at the end of the park entrance road.
As you hike this undulating landscape of bluffs and ravines, you’ll climb through hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods, and descend into floodplain forests.