Florida Guide > State Parks
Ravine Gardens State Park is situated in Palatka and covers 59 acres. As the name suggests, this park is famed for its Ravine Garden.
This is one of only 9 New Deal Era Structures and indeed the only one that features formal gardens.
The ravine took many thousands of years to develop and was caused by the sandy water flowing from the west shore of the St John River. This is yet another good example of how water has shaped and formed the geology of Florida.
In 1934 this natural sleep head ravine was planted with 95000 azaleas of all varities, 11000 palm trees and 25000 other ornamental plants. This was a joint initiative carried out between local volunteers, the F. E. R. A. the W. P. A. and the C. P. A.
The design of the gardens captures absolutely the thirties style with rock gardenswith its field stone terraces and cypress building construction.
It was described at the time as the countries outstanding civil project.
At this time the gardens were managed by Palatka, however, in 1970, they were handed over to the State.
You can walk the almost 2 mile hard trail or if you prefer you may drive round. There are toilets and picnic tables supplied for your use.
Near the entrance to the park is 64 foot obelisk made to honour Franklin D Roosvelt. There is a playground for the younger visitors and this is sited just past the amphitheatre on the drive that rings the ravine.
There is also another trail called a parscour trail that has exercise stations along the way. This runs more or less parallel to the paved loop road.
Obviously the very best time to visit this colourful park is from late january to early april when it bursts into its most glorious bloom; however, it is worth a visit at any time of the year.
The cost to enter this park is a very modest $4 for a car full of 8 people and is open from 8. a. m to sundown.
Do put this lovely park on your to do list for next time you visit Florida. It is good to research 3 or 4 parks in the same area and make an overnight side trip. PARK DETAILS
Ravine Gardens State Park
1600 Twigg Street
Palatka, Florida 32177
Phone: 386-329-3721Citizen Support Organization
Friends of Ravine Gardens, Inc.
1600 Twigg Street
Palatka, FL 32177Visitor Service Provider
Friends of Ravine State Gardens, Inc. 205 North 2nd Street Palatka, FL 32177 (904) 329-0103
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