Location: Bristol, Florida
Webpage: Florida State Park
General Description: Torreya State Park is a 13,735 acre park along the Apalachicola River in the panhandle of Florida. Along with two primitive campgrounds, the park has a small RV/tent campground with limited facilities. All of the sites are wooded, back-in, and have only water and electrical (50 amp) hookups. The sites are sandy and spacious and can easily hold RVs up to 40 feet in length. There is an overlook at the campground that gives a stunning view of the Apalachicola River valley over 150 feet below. The State Park was created in 1933 by the CCC building roads and a stone bridge that is accessible on the hiking trails. The CCC bunkhouse is now a recreation building and office at the main campground. Torreya State Park is home to the most critically endangered evergreen, the Torreya tree following a crash in the population due to a fungal blight in the 1950s. Historically, Torreya State Park is the location where Andrew Jackson crossed the river during the First Seminole War in 1818, and where the first government road in the Florida territory crossed the river in 1828. During the Civil War, Hammock Landing was the last of six batteries located along the bluffs of the Apalachicola River to prevent Union gunboats from threatening Columbus, Georgia. Remains of six cannon emplacements along the bluff are along a nature trail in the Park. Finally, the Gregory House is a fully furnished plantation house from the Civil War that is open for public tours. In 1849, Jason Gregory built his home at Ocheesee Landing, across the river from the park, which was moved by the CCC to its current location on the bluff in 1935.
1) The campground is very rustic with dirt roads and sandy sites. There are electric and water hookups and the sites are spacious with trees between each site. There is a picnic table and fire ring, as well at each site.
2) There are two restrooms in the campground. The main bathroom is old, yet clean and there is a washer and dryer in the back of the building. The other restroom is new and ADA accessible, but small for only one person at a time.
3) The personnel at the State Park were fantastic. We had RV problems, which delayed our arrival by three days and they worked with us to not only hold our reservation, but not charge us for having to adjust the arrival date.
4) The view from the overlook at the campground is breathtaking, especially in the evening with the sun shining off the hardwood trees that are showing their fall colors.
5) The Gregory house is a Civil War era home. While not large, it is a good example of the plantation homes of the time period. We did not take advantage of the tours, so I cannot speak about the furnishings.
6) We enjoyed the short hike from the Gregory house that goes down to the Apalachicola River. In particular, the up close look at the Civil War battery was worth the walk. They are only a short distance down from the house if that is all you want to see, however, the loop trail down to the river is only a little over a mile and is a nice walk on a November morning.