Ravine Gardens State Park is one of the nine New Deal-era state parks in Florida. The park has two ravines up to 120 feet deep some with steep banks at 45-degree angles. In 1933, the ravines were transformed into a dramatic garden by the federal Works Progress Administration. Some of the original landscaping still exists as formal gardens and a unique system of trails.
Today the park is a combination of formal and natural gardens. While the ravine system has been encouraged to revert to a more natural state, about five acres of formal gardens still exist. We can explore stone terraces and view water features, fountains and historic garden beds. The trails through the ravine retain elements such as stone stairs and a suspension bridge that were part of the original park construction. Given the depths of parts of the ravine, parts of the trails are challenging and strenuous.
The Azaleas that are a main attraction in the park will hopefully be in full bloom during this time.
A 1.8-mile paved road that allows walking, cycling and cars winds around the ravines, with many areas to pull off to enjoy the park and take in the views..
Date March 12th
Time 9:00 AM
Rain Date March 19th
Time 9:00 AM
$5 per vehicle, please use honor box. Correct change is required.
State Park annual pass accepted
1600 Twigg St.
Palatka FL 32177
Contact - Dave Wholey
904 322 4004
Parking Info - Parking lot directly follows the entrance.
Entrance Info - We will meet in the parking lot at 9:00 before proceeding on the perimeter road.
Transportation is by personal cars, carpooling individually arranged.
Lunch can be planned if there is interest for 12:30 at Chilis 1004 S State Rd 19, Palatka, FL. Plans will be confirmed based on interest.
Schedule of Events
We will meet in the parking lot area by 9 AM. many of the formal garden areas surround the parking area. There are many photo opportunities in these areas. The perimeter road is accessed at the lower right corner of the parking lot. We can proceed on that road, as we are individually ready, stopping to explorer, photograph, hike, relax on our own individual schedule. The road exits on the right side of the parking lot. We should plan to gather there no later than noon.
Expect the shooting opportunities to be varied but will primarily center on landscape and floral. Birding opportunities may not be optimum.
Lens selections can range from wide angle zooms up through mid range telephotos. Lighting in the valley or on any trails may require tripods for best results.
Polarizers and graduated ND filters may offer better results.
The park has accessible restrooms.
Parking is adequate but arrival by 9 AM Saturday is recommended as the park is a popular destination in the Palatka area.
We will be in Florida woodlands so bug repellant and adequate water should be brought. Sunscreen is always suggested.
The park is in the city of Palatka with many access points from the north.
From Jacksonville - I 95 south to exit 311 SR 207 to Palatka.
From Orange Park, Green Cove Springs, US 17 south to Palatka.
Follow city streets to the park through GPS use.