Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Garden of Eden

One of my favorite legends from the area around Two Egg is the story of the Garden of Eden in Liberty County, Florida. I included this as one of the chapters in my book, Two Egg, Florida: A Collection of Ghost Stories, Legends and Unusual Facts.

If you aren't familiar with the story, it holds that the area around Alum Bluff just north of the town of Bristol is the actual site of the Biblical Garden of Eden. Advanced by a local minister years ago, the theory originated because of the unique plantlife found there. Among other extremely rare plants, the Florida Torreya can be found growing at Alum Bluff. According to local legend, this was the "gopher wood" tree from which Noah constructed the ark. In addition, the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River system resembles the Biblical description of the waters that flowed through the Garden of Eden.

Whether the theory is accurate or not, one thing is definite. Alum Bluff is a natural wonder of amazing proportions. In addition to the Torreya, the extremely rare Florida Yew can be found growing there, as do other plants usually only found in the mountains. The photograph above was taken from the top of the bluff, which is now part of the Nature Conservancy's Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve.

It is a long walk (more than 3 miles roundtrip) to visit the bluff, but the view is spectacular. The access is by the appropriately named "Garden of Eden Trail" off State Road 12 just north of Bristol. There is no admission charge and the preserve is open during daylight hours.

If you would like to read the entire Garden of Eden story, my book Two Egg, Florida is available through,, or at

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