Known best for its hillsides of blooming azaleas each February, Ravine Gardens State Park melds historic planted public gardens with the intriguing setting of a deep steephead ravine above the St. Johns River in Palatka.
Fees: $4-5 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome
In 1933, the Works Progress Administration put unemployed Americans to work carving a formal botanical garden out of a steephead ravine near the St. Johns River. 250,000 ornamental plants and 95,000 azaleas later, the city opened its first real tourist attraction, dubbed the “Nation’s Outstanding Works Administration Project.”
The park has pools at the bottom of the ravine where blue flag iris thrive. The main entrance is through a set of formal gardens past a uniquely double-trunked cabbage palm. You can walk more than two miles of footpaths over swinging bridges and on steep hillsides, or drive or bicycle the 1.8-mile scenic drive around the top of the ravine to stop and sample the botanical delights.
Explore the park
- Ravine Gardens Hiking Trails- Hike the trails at Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka, a botanical garden with a touch of Civilian Conservation Corps history and some very rugged hiking trails.