Take a Day Trip To the Florida-Georgia State Line

If you haven’t driven the roads directly north of Port St. Joe to the Georgia state line near Chattahoochee, we highly recommend you hop in your car, camera in tow, and set out for what is sure to be an interesting, picturesque and educational day.

Right in our own Gulf County about 25 miles north of PSJ is the small town of Wewahitchka and one of the scenic highlights there is Dead Lakes, a nature lovers and fisherperson’s mecca. You’ll pass right over a small section of the lake area as you proceed north on SR 71 just north of “Wewa”.


Then, about 25 miles north of the lakes you’ll come to Blountstown. On the way, however, you may see several cotton fields and, depending on the season, they could be in full bloom or they may be in the process of being harvested. Blountstown.


Blountstown itself, a city of about 2500 and the county seat of Calhoun County, has quite a bit to offer, from the historical courthouse, to the picturesque Lake Hilda, to the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, to the M&B Railroad Museum. Blountstown is definitely worth a stop.


Continuing north for another 25 miles you’ll come to the village of Sneads on Hwy US 90. A few miles north of Sneads is an out-of-the-way gem of a State Park called Three Rivers Park. This recreation area is located along 2 ½ miles of Lake Seminole shoreline a few miles north of Sneads. The park gets its name from the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers which meet to form Lake Seminole above the nearby Woodruff Dam. Below the dam is the third of the three rivers, the Apalachicola, which then flows untamed until it pours into the Gulf of Mexico.


The park is a mecca for freshwater anglers, bird and botany enthusiasts, campers, hikers, boaters and picnickers. There are four educational, self-guided hiking trails and thirty family campsites for both tents and RV’s. The state of Georgia is clearly visible across the waters of Lake Seminole.


Now, if you turned on Hwy 90 to the east from Sneads, just before entering the town of Chattahoochee, you’ll come across the aforementioned and impressive Woodruff Dam on your left. Here is where the Apalachicola River begins. On the far side of the dam, with the state of Georgia clearly in the background, is Lake Seminole, which is formed by the meeting of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers.


Only a mile or so beyond the dam lies the bustling Chattahoochee, a city of about 4000 residents. The main feature of the town is the very large and impressive Florida State Hospital, primarily a mental institution, which dates back to the late-1800’s. A bit beyond the hospital (and off the beaten track) is the quiet Cypress Cove Nature Park. It’s not much more than a tranquil cypress lake with a bit of meager infrastructure and a very intimidating “Beware of Alligators” sign. A very peaceful place, indeed, and usually devoid of threatening reptilian creatures.

Torreya State Park, located on the banks of the Apalachicola River, can be reached by traveling south from Chattahoochee (on the way back to Port St. Joe) for less than 20 miles along highways 269 and 270. It’s only 13 miles north of Bristol, 20 miles from Blountstown. The park is named after the rare and endangered Torreya tree, a member of the nutmeg family and endemic to the local east bank of the Apalachicola River's limestone bluffs.


Like Three Rivers, the park offers camping (29 sites available), hiking, picnicking, wildlife and bird watching. One of the main scenic features of the park are the high limestone bluffs overlooking the Apalachi-cola River. The steep, heavily foliated bluffs rise more than 150 feet above the river.

And the primary historic feature of the park is the Gregory House which dates to 1849. It is an old plantation home and is furnished with articles dating to the mid-1850’s when the house was occupied by the planter Jason Gregory and his family. In the back yard of the house is a magnificent view of the flowing but peaceful river below.


It's a tad less than 72 miles back to Port St. Joe and it can easily be driven in about an hour and a quarter. Take County Rd. 271 south from the park for about 7 miles to Hwy 12. Right on 12 to Bristol and then right on Hwy 20 to Blountstown. You’ve now driven 22 miles from Torreya Park. At Blountstown, turn right onto State Hwy 71 and that’ll take you straight back to Port St Joe: distance about 50 miles.