The landscape at Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka transports you to a jungle bungalow that makes you feel like you're not quite in the North Central Florida anymore. With bridges hanging under canopy trees and lined with vines, the park is almost entirely nature-made. After paying a small entrance fee, visitors are inclined to hike the state park’s trails and admire the creations by man that have been enhanced by nature. Whether you're looking for a thrill adventuring across the ravine or a relaxing day in the scenic park, Ravine Gardens State Park has something for everyone.

Over the last shape for over 1,000 years, two natural ravines have taken shape in Palatka's Ravine Gardens State Park as they slope down at 45-degree angles, reaching depths of 120 feet. Although the ravines are natural and ancient, impressive structures were added to the park in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. Built in 1934 by CCC workers with 250,000 ornamental plants and 95,000 azaleas, Ravine Gardens State Park was named the “Nation’s Outstanding Citizen Works Administration Project” when it opened. Structures include two suspension bridges, walkways, trails, and a fountain perfect for hiking with your family and friends. Grab some fresh air and take in the scenery at this hidden gem in Palatka!

If hiking isn’t your favorite thing to do, you can drive the scenic loop through Ravine Gardens State Park. The picturesque wildlife as well as breathtaking views have visitors making frequent stops to document it all. Thousands of planted azaleas blossom when springtime kicks off, bringing more pops of color amongst the greenery. Not so tempted to take on the ravine? Gentle, broad pathways have been created at the bottom of the ravine to allow visitors to get a closer look at the flow of a run formed from an artesian sulfur spring.

Although Ravine Gardens State Park has been ranked as a low to moderate bug factor, make sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring some bug spray for your own comfort and well-being. On the hunt for more outdoor adventures to make memories with your loved one? Check out our listings of things to do in North Central Florida by registering on 352area for free.


Cover photo courtesy of Flickr