It seems that I am destined to be constantly behind in catching up the blog. We just returned from a week RV trip where we had no useable Wi-Fi, so I am even further behind.
Torreya State Park. This park has a small campground and is named for the very rare Torreya tree that only grows along the bluffs of the Apalachicola River. There are hiking trails and you can tour the home of Jason Gregory, plantation owner before the Civil War. After the war, the house fell disrepair and was nearly lost, since it was built in the swampy area of the river because of the need to be near the plantation operation. When the park was started in1935, one of the first projects was to move the home to the bluff on the opposite bank of the river and restore it to the period before the civil war with the Gregory descendents contributing many original items from the home to the park. There were some interesting trails to hike, but we were advised by the ranger that it was not a good time to do so, as there were many poisonous snakes on the trails with two folks already bitten that month. So we enjoyed an interesting tour of the home and learning about the Torreya tree. Local legend has it that the Torreya tree, which is also called the Gopher tree, provided the wood for Noah's Ark. This area is also referred to as the Garden of Eden and said to have every plant mentioned in the Bible.
The next state park we visited was Ochlockonee River. This is a small state park with some hiking trails and a campground and recreation area bordering the river. We had a site along the river and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon walking the park and watching the special white squirrels. A great place to relax, hike or enjoy the water.
Our last stop was St Joseph Peninsula State Park. This historic peninsula was first explored by Europeans in the 1500's. Today the park is a wilderness area which can be explored ashore or on the water. The beaches here are known for their sunrises and sunsets. It is an short walk from the campgrounds to the beach. What makes it a bit special is the fact that the Peninsula runs more or less north and south allowing a full view of the sun over water during sunrise and sunset. Sunset was certainly the highlight of our visit.