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“The Natural Florida”

Ravine Gardens State Park
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Palatka
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The park has two ravines up to 120 feet deep with steep banks at 45 degree angles. Unlike common gullies, trenches or sinkholes caused by temporary flooding, the steephead ravine is a permanent feature with a spring-fed creek that never dries up, called Whitewater Branch. The underground water bubbling up cuts into the bank and carries the sand and soil downstream to the St. Johns River. Over thousands of years the ravine has widened and deepened to what you see today. In 1933, this ravine was transformed into a dramatic garden by the federal Works Progress Administration. Much of the original landscaping still exists as formal gardens and an extensive trail system. A 1.8-mile paved road winds around the ravine, offering motorists and bicyclists a view of the gardens. The Ravine Loop is closed to vehicle traffic one hour before sunset, but remains open for pedestrians, bicycles, and wheelchairs. The garden's peak flowering period is azalea season, late January to April. Numerous picnic sites, equipped with tables and grills, are available to visitors. The Roy E. Campbell Civic Center complex features a large covered pavilion, auditorium, and meeting rooms that are available for rent. Located in Palatka at 1600 Twigg Street.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Breathtaking natural beauty, especially in the spring. This is what Florida really looks like...out of the tourist traps. I originally came from Pennsylvania and traveled to Florida about once a year or so.... to go to the beaches and tourist attractions. I moved to Florida in 2001 and have found the REAL FLORIDA. This state park is the epitome of what Florida is really like and not what the tourist centers would have you believe. It is lovely in this natural habitat. You would not believe the ravines! Yes, this is Florida too. Palatka is right on the St John's River that opens into the ocean at Jacksonville. Over the bridge to the pretty beaches too!

1  Thank Dianne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 - 175 of 231 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2014

Another great state park complete with a hiking trails and those that want to drive, a loop around the park.

1  Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2014

very nice walking experience. lots of shade and different areas to walk for different levels of walking or jogging experience.

1  Thank Sandy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2014

We went to the park at the end of March and most of the Azalea were gone. We missed the peak time. So if you want to see the blossom of Azalea, you need to go before early March. They have two main trails. One is called Azalea trail which is kinda hilly with steps up and down. During the Azalea blossom time, I am sure this will be very pretty. Another trail is called Spring trail and this give you a better view of the ravine itself and it is kinda unique.

3  Thank chachaSH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014 via mobile

Pack a lunch. Do the trails play on the playground and then go find a place to picnic. Many places with picnic tables and parking area around the driving path. Had a blast spent a good 3 hours at this location. Lots if green but not much other color. A bit too early in the year.

1  Thank T E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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