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Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve

Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines is a 6000-acre nature preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy in Liberty County, near Bristol.  The preserve protects an extremely rare ecosystem - steephead ravines and streams.  The Nature Conservancy has been working to restore the longleaf pine savannas on the uplands of the preserve for more than 30 years and have pioneered the techniques for restoring longleaf pine ecosystems.  The preserve is open to the public with the 3.75 mile Garden of Eden Trail - one of the steepest trails in Florida.  Kelley Branch, a tributary of Apalachicola River is in the process of restoration.  The dam was removed in 2006 and stream restoration work is in progress.

Directions:

From Tallahassee, head west on I-10 for about 25 miles to exit 174.  Turn left to go west on FL-12 for 20 miles and turn right on Garden of Eden Road.  The parking area is before the gate in under a half mile.

Map:

Garden of Eden Trail:

The Garden of Eden Trail is a 3.75-mile strenuous trail that allows the public to access this unique area.  The trail starts out flat heading through a pine savanna.

Shortly, the trail heads into the woods and descends steeply into a ravine then climbing up and following a ridgeline.  The trail descends steeply again into the ravine formed by Kelley Branch.

Climbing steeply up leads to another flat pine savanna in the uplands and comes to a split.  A short loop here leads out the to the bluffs above Apalachicola River.

Wildlife:

Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) is being re-established in the uplands through the efforts of volunteers and staff.  The saplings are considered grassy stage for obvious reasons.

Florida anise (Illicium floridanum) is an evergreen shrub with beautiful red flowers.

Blog Entries:

06-Mar-2018: Geological Wonders of Florida

External Links:

The Nature Conservancy website: https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/florida/placesweprotect/apalachicola-bluffs-and-ravines-preserve.xml