One of the lesser-heralded delights of Torreya State Park is the Weeping Ridge Trail, which leads to a 25-foot-tall waterfall splashing off the ridge. It’s an extraordinarily rugged little nature trail for Florida, thanks to the steeply inclined terrain, but with a payoff of seeing one of Florida’s waterfalls, how can you resist?
Length: 1 mile
Lat-Lon: 30.568467, -84.947050
Fees / Permits: state park entrance fee
Difficulty: moderately strenuous
Bug factor: low to moderate
Restroom: in the campground
Follow SR 12 south from the I-10 exit for Bristol to CR 270. Follow signs along CR 270 west to the park. Make a left onto the campground road, and park on the left at the trailhead sign.
The Weeping Ridge Trail heads immediately downhill from the nature trail parking area near the campground, passing under a power line as it enters the deeply shaded hardwood forest. You reach a junction with a side trail from the campground. Turn left and head down a steep slope that shows a good bit of erosion, and can be rather slippery if it has rained recently. The open understory lets you see what’s coming as the trail continues to drop quickly down the ridge.
After a half mile, you make a sharp left to come to the end of the trail at a bluff above the ravine, overlooking the falls. A needle palm flourishes in the humid microclimate created by the constant splash of water. On the ridge above, a young torreya tree – looking like a broad-needled hemlock – grows on the hillside above the trail. The volume of the falls varies according to recent rains.
Retrace your steps – all uphill now – to return.