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Hiking North Florida and the Panhandle
by M. Timothy O'Keefe (Falcon Guides)
Torreya State Park is named for the torreya, or Florida yew, the largest bigleaf magnolia found in the United States. The torreya is one of more than one hundred rare and endangered species living in this small protected area. Interestingly, a Baptist minister once tried to prove this area was the Garden of Eden because it has the world’s only four-headed river system. He also claimed the “gopher wood” Noah used to build his ark was actually the torreya tree. Because of the park’s high bluffs, deep ravines, and unusual vegetation, many consider the loop walk here to be one of the best and most unique in all Florida. This is one of the few parks with a camping yurt—a round, domed tent with flooring.The trail skirts the perimeter of the park. However, it is not necessary to walk the entire length just to view the torreya trees or walk the banks of the Apalachicola River. A secondary loop trail (about forty-five minutes) is also located behind the Gregory House. Consult the park map. You’ve parked not too far from the Gregory House, also the ranger station.
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