Garden of Eden Trail

HARD 47 reviews

Garden of Eden Trail is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bristol, Florida that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
479 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

scramble

washed out

no dogs

This demanding and sometimes strenuous 3.75 mile trail is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. The trail, located in the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve is rich in flora and animal species. For a state known for beaches and sand this area of Florida reminds you of the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. Your hike begins in a sandhill habitat with wiregrass and longleaf pines quickly changing to a slop forest with a steephead ravine to a mixed upland habitat. Finally, the trail reaches Alum Bluff where you have a wonderful vista of the Apalachicola River and the floodplain on the opposite side of the river. The Garden of Eden Trail treats hikers to a botanically rich environment.

nature trips
2 months ago

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done

walking
2 months ago

Fun trail lots to see.

2 months ago

A good challenge! A little narrow in some spots! Definitely some climbing/scrambling! Great view of the river from the bluffs!

3 months ago

Trail is challenging in certain areas. certainly not for children. There are a number of steep inclines. Over all it's a good challenge.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was amazing! Was skeptical about how “hard” it would be but it was seriously pretty tough. Biggest downside; lots of yellow flies and a few snakes. Very narrow trail at times. The beginning was weirdly sandy. Also, definitely need lots of water, I lost a good bit of sweat.

We took an extra challenge to make it down to the water, which was beautiful! However, VERY difficult. The erosion along the bluff makes it hard to get any good traction/ footing, but if you have plenty of time and don’t mind getting dirty/ sweaty trying to climb down and then back up, it’s worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Starts off a broad sandy trail with burned foliage all around. Not sure if intentional or recent wild fire, but it smells good. Less than half a mile in and you're in the trees, staying there for about a mile before some more open spaces, then back in the trees around the River Loop. The bugs were annoying but not too out of hand so long as you keep moving. Lots of squirrels, birds, deer, and a few other things crashing around in the trees.

Made it to the River Loop head after about 1.6 miles. Bearing to the right takes you to a nice bluff, if you don't see the obvious sign. Nice views from a good perch of the Apalachicola. You can continue from the bluff to the River Loop or turn around.

I followed the loop, which is definitely the road less traveled. Trees are marked, but not as well, and the trail is not nearly as worn in as the main section. The loop also has some of the most elevation change per distance of the whole trail. If you're losing light and need to get back, I would skip the loop.

Coming back after the loop in the waning light, I came across a copperhead in the trail. Big one too, at about 5 feet long. Watch your step in the twilight.

Well marked trail, perfect distance for a business trip, nice mix of canopy and open views, big river bluff views, and some very un-Floridian elevation changes make this a regional 5 star almost by default.

Will definitely do again! :D

hiking
3 months ago

Bring plenty of bug spray and water. One of the best hikes in Florida with a great view from the bluff!! Bring a walking stick as some areas are more challenging going up and down.

hiking
5 months ago

Definitely a nice little hike. For Florida, I would consider this a moderate-hard hike, depending on your physical abilities.

The elevation changes will be welcomed by anyone that enjoys hiking the foothills of the Appalachian Trail. Some elevation changes are much steeper than those seen on the Torreya Trails.
Due to traffic and washout, one area has become a relatively steep drop-off, of approximately 2 feet, but most areas have steps or roots, to aid in footing.

Many areas through the open fields are very sandy, making the hike a little more strenuous, combined with the elevation changes that come along in the wooded areas.

One stream with clear, but lightly tannic water can be accessed easily for those looking to filter water. The Conservatory has also placed a water fountain at the beginning of the trail.

My only dislike was the lack of maintenance on the one stair case. Some steps have fallen a little, making footing a little unstable, if you're not paying close attention. Otherwise, the trail makes for a nice in and out hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice in-and-out trial unique to the Florida Panhandle. Trail has flora unique to area, such as the Florida Torreya and the Florida Yew. Steep ravines provide a strenuous hike. There is an awesome lookout of the Apalachicola River at the end of the trail. Great little hike for an adventure during the day!

7 months ago

This trail has spiders like crazy. I went in November. Terrific trail otherwise

7 months ago

Most trails around are flat but this one actually has some elevation gain and loss. It also ends with a great view!

hiking
8 months ago

Easy access and quite nice view at the outlook. Quite a lot of traffic but it was a holiday weekend. I would not rate this as a difficult or strenuous trail for the area. I felt it was rather slightly moderate. The ravines were short and stairs laid out for the incline. Well marked and flat in many places allowing for a great recovery of the short steep climbs.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Nice little moderate hike.

hiking
Thursday, June 01, 2017

Solid hike, great view! Hope you enjoy sugar sand

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Nice trail parking for maybe 10 cars. Look for a big white sign right at parking. No other signage . Take plenty of water and a walking stick. plan on 3 hours.

hiking
Monday, March 06, 2017

Wow! When it said hard I guess I didn't believe it. The steep drops and climbs were amazing though. The view was magnificent! This trail was well marked and easy to see the path. It was everything I expected view wise and more. My son says he's found his new favorite trail! The trail is very narrow so passing people isn't roomy. It says no dogs yet people had their dogs. We picnicked at the bluff looking out at the river! Gorgeous, great workout and we will be doing it again! We didn't have to much of a spiderweb problem. But we also weren't the first people through the trails that day either.

hiking
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Have done this trail several times, but always in the heat of July in North Florida. Good trail, but be ready to douse yourself in Deet to combat the yellow flies, mosquitoes, and spiders. Also, hydrate well and then check for ticks when you finish.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Really well maintained trail that took me about 45 minutes but I took my time with the view. I went right after it rained, so the bugs were pretty bad, but the misty clouds in the trees on the hike up and clouds over the bluff were a worth it added bonus.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This hike took us (6 kids-age 10 and up, a 10 month old baby, and me) about 2 hours in and out. There were a few steep climbs up and down, but it wasn't too bad... View of the river was very nice. Be sure to watch out for spiders and their webs when walking!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Great trail

backpacking
Saturday, June 04, 2016

Beautiful views! Well maintained trail! In the summer, I would recommend going early as the trail is very sunny in lots of places.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

great little challenging trial with amazing views.

hiking
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Awesome! Just enough rigor. Well marked and beautiful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Excellent trail, loved the different scenaries, the views to the river, the streams, bridges, breathtaking!

birding
Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I hiked the trail just for some exercise! I thought it was great and will definitely do it again.

hiking
Friday, September 20, 2013

I have hiked this trail several times and have used it to get in shape to hike a 40-mile section of the AT. I have seen deer, swallow-tailed kites, and copperhead snakes on the trail. At one point, the trail butts up against private land and a shooting house is located in full view. Wear bright clothing when hiking during Florida hunting season. This trail is not for those who are out of shape.

2 hours ago

hiking
1 month ago

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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