TORREYA STATE PARK
High bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River make Torreya one of Florida's most scenic places. The park is named for an extremely rare species of Torreya tree that only grows on the bluffs along the Apalachicola River. Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Torreya is popular for camping, hiking, and picnicking. Bird-watching is also a popular activity. Over 100 species of birds have been spotted in the park. Forests of hardwood trees provide the finest display of fall color found in Florida. The main campground offers full-facility campsites and a YURT (Year-round Universal Recreational Tent). Primitive campsites and a youth campground are also available. Ranger-guided tours of the Gregory House, a fully furnished plantation home built in 1849, are given at 10:00 a.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. on weekends and state holidays. Located west on County Road 1641 off State Road 12, 13 miles north of Bristol.
Animals were not the only inhabitants known to exist in the area over the centuries. A number of Indian sites have been discovered here by archaeologists. During the first Seminole Indian War in 1818, General Andrew Jackson crossed the river here with his army.
In 1828, when Florida became a U.S. Territory, the first government road across north Florida met the river here in the park. Throughout the 1800s, the Apalachicola River was an important interstate highway. More than 200 steamboats traveled the river during the great trading era, 1840-1910.
During the Civil War, this important route was protected by a six cannon battery located on a bluff. The battery was in place to prevent Union gun boats from passing. The remains of the gun pit can be seen along the bluff trail.
The Gregory House, built in 1849 by Planter Jason Gregory, stood across the river from the park at Ocheesee Landing. Gregory?s plantation prospered until the beginning of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. In 1935, the house was dismantled and moved to its present location in the park by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was developing the park.
Full Facility Camping
This 12,000-acre park has 30 campsites with electric and water hookups available for reservation. YurtsThe park has 1 large YURT (Year-round Universal Recreational Tent)available for reservation. Torreya's yurt is a 20-foot round, domed tent with flooring, electricity, lockable wooden door, and three large windows with screens and flaps that open and close. Features of the yurt include air conditioning/heating, skylight, futon with bunk twin bed on top, queen-size bed, table and chairs, leisure deck. The yurt sleeps 5.