Every state has legends attached to them. Whenever there's a true story, there are bound to be fibs, tall tales, and rumors to go along with it. Some people believe they are true. Others like to play into the fun and may even think, "what if?". Others believe it's complete tinfoil hat nonsense.
But no matter what we all think, the legends coming from our states will always fascinate people. And Florida has some pretty fascinating ones. In every state I live in, including my home state of California, I've had a weird fixation on finding out every strange story and the odd fact I can. I've been pretty lazy about my quest for knowledge, I will say that, but every day I poke around the web trying to find something of interest I didn't know before, particularly about the state I'm in, which would be Florida for the past eleven or so months.
My habit lead me to one of the most interesting legends I think I've seen anywhere. The myth is that the Garden of Eden is in Bristol, Florida. Yes. The story of the Garden of Eden in Bristol s a bonafide Floridian legend and a pretty popular one. I'll run down what I understand for those like me who've never heard about any of it.
Anyone familiar with the Bible will know since its publication, The Garden of Eden was assumed to be in the Middle East, more pointedly Iraq, an area known as the "Cradle of Civilization" near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
However, Bristol local and Baptist Minister/Lawyer/activist/legislator (good grief, man) E.E. Callaway. Mr. Callaway was so convinced that the Garden of Eden was in Bristol, Florida, that he published a book in 1966 titled "The Original Garden of Eden." Using "indisputable facts arrived at by the use of the scientific principles of Teleology and Relativity" to prove his point, Mr. Callaway argues that the Garden of Eden is by Florida's Apalachicola River.
Mr. Callaway believed that the Garden of Eden is near the Apalachicola River because it has four bodies of water branching from it, like the one in the Book of Genesis. Also, Mr. Callaway discovered insanely rare plants like Florida Torreya and yew grow along the river. Some even believe that the Torreya is the wood used by Noah to build the ark.
For visitors who might want to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Apalachicola River, there is even a trail called the "Garden of Eden Trail," which is part of the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Reserve. Located at 10394 NW Longleaf Dr. Bristol, FL 32321, this nature conservatory certainly lives up to its name and attracts visitors from all over the world, which you can check out in the visitor's log before you go hiking.
And while you might not see the Garden of Eden, it could be worth the trip out for a stunning hike and a look at some of the rarest nature in the world.
Do you believe the Garden of Eden could've been in Bristol, Florida? Let me know what you think below!