Torreya State Park

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Torreya State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Torreya Park Bluffs01.jpg
View of the Apalachicola River from bluffs
in Torreya State Park
Map showing the location of Torreya State Park
Map showing the location of Torreya State Park
Location Liberty County, Florida, USA
Nearest city Bristol, Florida
Coordinates 30°34′08″N 84°56′53″W / 30.56889°N 84.94806°W / 30.56889; -84.94806Coordinates: 30°34′08″N 84°56′53″W / 30.56889°N 84.94806°W / 30.56889; -84.94806
Area 13,735 acres (49 km²)
Governing body Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Designated: December 1976

Torreya State Park is a 13,735 acre (49 km²) Florida State Park, U.S. National Natural Landmark and historic site thirteen miles (19 km) north of Bristol. It is located north of S.R 12 on the Apalachicola River, in northwestern Florida (Florida Panhandle), at 2576 N.W. Torreya Park Road. It was named for a rare species of Torreya tree which only grows on the river bluffs. Torreya State Park is currently managed by Steven Cutshaw.

Geography[edit]

With river swamps and high pinelands, extensive ravines and high bluffs along the river, the park has one of the most variable terrains of any in Florida. The high elevation of the park is about 300 feet at the top of Logan Hill. Many streams run through the park

History[edit]

Prior Native American inhabitation has been confirmed by archaeological discoveries in the area.

In 1818, General Andrew Jackson and his army crossed the Apalachicola here during the first Seminole Indian War. Ten years later, the first government road to cross the new Territory met the river here.

Due to the river's importance during the Civil War, a six cannon battery was placed on a bluff to prevent the passage of Union gunboats. These cannons never saw combat action at this location. The gun pit's remains can still be seen in the park.

Gregory House[edit]

In 1849, Jason Gregory built a plantation at Ocheesee Landing, across from the park's current location. After the Civil War, like most plantations, it fell into disuse.

Not long after the Civilian Conservation Corps was established in 1933, they started work to create the park. Part of the project in 1935 was disassembling the old Gregory House, moving it across the river and reconstructing in the park, where it stands today.

Visitors can tour the Gregory House daily for a small fee. Tours are offered at 10am Monday thrugh Friday and 10, 2 and 4 on weekends and state holidays. Torreya State Park is in Eastern Time Zone.

Biology[edit]

Flora[edit]

The park is one of the few places in the country where the endangered Few-flowered croomia (Croomia pauciflora) can still be found.[1][2] Other endangered species in the park include the feathery false lily of the valley, Canadian honewort and bloodroot.[3] With its location in the panhandle and large number and variety of hardwood trees (like beech, hickory, southern sugar maple, sourwood and sweetgum), the park provides the best view of fall colors in the state.

Fauna[edit]

Many animals can be seen in the park. Some of the mammals there include deer, squirrel, raccoon, opossum, fox, skunk, rabbit, bobcat and black bear. Dozens of species of birds can be viewed. Numerous species of amphibians and reptiles exist there as well, such as the Eastern Hognose Snake, gopher tortoises, and the rare Apalachicola dusky salamander.

Recreational Activities[edit]

The park has such amenities as birding, boating, hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing and full camping facilities. It also has concessions, a museum and interpretive exhibit.

The Apalachicola River Bluffs Trail, a National Recreational Trail, is part of the park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plant Profile for Croomia pauciflora
  2. ^ Florida's Native Plants - Protected: C-D
  3. ^ State Protected Plants in Florida

External links[edit]