Florida

Liberty County

Garden of Eden Trail

The Nature Conservancy- Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve

Located in the Apalachicola ravines region in Florida, the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve protects one of the few areas where steephead ravines exist. Steephead ravines are unique plants and animals, some found nowhere else on earth. The region is biologically unique to Florida and is home to many species more commonly found in the Appalachian Mountains. A 3.5-mile, round-trip, self-guided trail takes you through an enchanting area that local legend claims is the original Garden of Eden. Beginning in longleaf pine/wiregrass uplands, the trail soon skirts the top of a dramatic steephead, descends the slope forest to cross a steephead stream, climbs up through sandhills, and eventually opens to a spectacular view from a bluff 135 feet above the Apalachicola River. This trail is very strenuous, with steep climbs and descents. The preserve also protects two of the world's rarest evergreens, the Florida Torreya and Florida Yew. There are yews along the botanical loop trail, but there are no longer live torreyas visible from the trail. Other plants of interest are the large-leaved, large-flowered ashe; pyramid magnolias; Florida anise; mountain laurel; oak leaf hydrangea; spring ephemerals, such as trillium and wild ginger; Gholson's blazing star; ferns; and an array of fall-blooming sandhill wildflowers and grasses, including toothed basil and lopsided Indiangrass. The preserve provides a home to several species of resident and migrating birds including bald eagles, Mississippi kites, swallow-tailed kites, wild turkeys, worm-eating warblers, hooded warblers and Swainson's warblers. By the streams along the bottom of the ravines, you might catch a glimpse of Apalachicola dusky salamanders and fire-back crayfish. Common upland species include cottontail rabbits, white-tailed deer, six-lined race runners, wild turkeys, gopher tortoises and various snakes, including the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Some visitors may spot an eastern indigo snake or a Sherman's fox squirrel.

Length: 3.5 miles Difficulty: 4 Location: 30.467994, -84.942151
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A Glimpse into the Garden

Day Hike

Nestled between the Apalachicola ravines of the sunshine state lies a secret haven for unique plants and animals alike. In the span of just 3.5 miles, you’ll witness a range of flora and fauna unique to Florida. Not only will you be able to enjoy nature at its best along with breathtaking scenery, but you’ll also learn about the local legend in this self-guided trail as well. In this self-claimed original Garden of Eden, you can expect to trek your way through uplands, steepheads, streams, sandhills, all while observing a magnificent view. While the trail may be very demanding, the reward at the end of this three hour hike is well worth the effort. Your labors will be rewarded with a rare glimpse into nature with animals such as bald eagles, wild turkeys, cottontail rabbits, and much more.

A Glimpse into the Garden

Day Hike

Nestled between the Apalachicola ravines of the sunshine state lies a secret haven for unique plants and animals alike. In the span of just 3.5 miles, you’ll witness a range of flora and fauna unique to Florida. Not only will you be able to enjoy nature at its best along with breathtaking scenery, but you’ll also learn about the local legend in this self-guided trail as well. In this self-claimed original Garden of Eden, you can expect to trek your way through uplands, steepheads, streams, sandhills, all while observing a magnificent view. While the trail may be very demanding, the reward at the end of this three hour hike is well worth the effort. Your labors will be rewarded with a rare glimpse into nature with animals such as bald eagles, wild turkeys, cottontail rabbits, and much more.

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