Ravine Gardens State Park in Florida

By Holly Giles | Florida

ravine gardens state park

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Ravine Gardens State Park

A visit to Florida must include Ravine Gardens State Park. Ravine Gardens is located in Palatka, Florida. Back then, Palatka was a hub of action in the 1800’s during the steamboat era. The city of Palatka and the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 created Ravine Gardens. Known for its architectural structures and suspension bridges.

painted gardens sign

See also – De Leon Springs

Where is Ravine Gardens located?

The park is located at 1600 Twigg Street in Palatka, FL 32177. The park entrance fee is $5. Use the honor box with the correct change. The hours are sunrise to sunset, 365 days per year. There is 1.8 miles of accessible paved trails along with picnic pavilions and tables. Pets are permitted in designated areas only. There is no camping, fishing, boating or swimming available at this state park.

garden view

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Plan your visit to the park

One of the main factors in planning your holiday to Florida is your budget for attractions and accommodations. So There is so much to see and do in one of our state parks, so planning is necessary. Florida State Parks are an inexpensive trip for families. Ravine Gardens can take several hours to visit if you utilize the entire park. The suspension bridges are a great way to see the ravines.

paved trail

Plan to pack a picnic if you spend time in the ravines. The stone stairs down to the suspension bridges are steep, and I recommend walking sticks. If you walk down a set of stairs, you will have to walk back up a set of stairs on the other side.

For those not as mobile or needing accessibility, a 1.8-mile paved trail runs along the top of the ravine that a wheelchair or scooter can use.


My visit to the park

Visiting Ravine Gardens was a fantastic day for my family. We did not expect all the beautiful areas we found within the park. This place was once a popular place for gatherings, events, and the plan of the Civilian Corps. The stonework throughout the park is impressive. How they dug out the stone stairs on both sides of the ravine is incredible. We were tired by the end of our trip because we did all the bridges and stairs! I will definitely come back at different times of the year to see all the landscaping in bloom.

When do the Azaleas bloom at Ravine Gardens?

Azaleas are a popular attraction at Ravine Gardens. This state park has a section of cultivated gardens, and the old Formosa azaleas can be found throughout the park. It is a spectacular view when the season is at its peak. Azaleas will bloom from the end of December through March depending on weather conditions.

azalea flowers

florida suspension bridge

What created the ravines at Ravine Gardens?

The steep head ravines in this Florida State Park are permanent and were created by the spring-fed creek called Whitewater Branch. The underground water continuously carries sand and soil into the St. Johns river. Over time it has created the deep ravines you see today.

Whitewater Branch was the primary water source for Palatka from 1886-1986. The Palatka Waterworks Company built with steam pump machines to pump one million gallons of water every 24 hours. Today’s historical marker located down in the ravine is an important feature of how the town received its water for nearly one hundred years.

Why is Ravine Gardens a Florida State Park?

The location was chosen as one of nine parks in Florida to be part of the federal Works Progress Administration. Also known as “The New Deal”. The Civilian Conservation Corps built out the ravines and created the stone stairways and suspension bridges. The town of Palatka wanted cultured gardens with architectural details and a showcase of azaleas.

debary florida

Rent our Florida vacation home

Are you planning a Florida vacation? Book your reservation at our vacation home in Debary. Ravine Gardens is about an hour from this short-term rental. Central to theme parks, beaches, springs, and many state parks I write about. River City’s Retreat


About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.