RAVINE GARDENS STATE PARK
A ravine was created over thousands of years by water flowing from the sandy ridges on the shore of the St. Johns River. 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.
Ravine Gardens State Park is open 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 a year, including holidays. This includes the formal gardens, natural ravine, trails and the 1.8 mile drive around the ravine. Passes and information can be obtained at the gate any time the park is open. The Civic Center?s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 3:30 pm, excluding holidays. To book or pay for a wedding or room, or to purchase a pass with your credit card, please visit or call our office during these hours.
HISTORY OF THE AREA
The 59 acre gardens were created in a natural steephead ravine by the City of Palatka, local citizens, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Federal Works Project Administration (WPA and the Civil Works Administration (CWA) in the 1930?S.
Described in the 1934 Florida Municipal Record as the "Nations Outstanding Civil Works Administration. project," the 59 acre ravines were planted with over 95,000 azaleas including 64 varieties, 11,000 palm trees and more than 250,000 ornamental plants. The gardens were maintained by the City of Palatka until the park was deeded to the State of Florida in 1970.
One of nine Florida state parks with New Deal Era structures, Ravine Gardens is the only park with a formal designed landscape. The extensive fieldstone terraces, rock gardens and massive cypress building construction is typical of the era. The Court of States and 64 foot obelisk dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt is located near the park entrance.
There are numerous sites along the 1.8 mile paved ravine perimeter road to picnic. Picnic tables and grills are available at no additional charge. Stairways and trail access into the ravines are located near each picnic area.
DAY USE AREA
Ravine Gardens has ADA compliant public restroom facilities on both floors of the Roy E. Campbell Civic Center. Additionally, our 1.8 mile paved drive has restroom facilities approximately 1/2 mile from the start of the drive, which can easily be accessed by visitors using the nearby playground facility and small picnic pavilion, as well as walkers and hikers.
Our playground is located along the drive that circles the ravines. It is past the amphitheatre and the bathrooms on the drive, approximately 1 mile from the start of the drive. Included are swings, a slide and climbing equipment, nestled in the shade provided by the trees around the ravines.
Ravine Gardens State Park is located in Palatka, Florida. From US17/SR100, turn south onto Moseley Avenue, then turn east onto Twigg Street.