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Parks & Wildlife


Ravine Gardens is a representation of the never-ending shaping that occurs by Florida’s water flow. The steep ravine was created by water flowing from beneath the sandy ridges that flank the west shore of the St. Johns River. In 1933, the Federal Works Administration (WPA) created a dramatic garden landscape in the ravine with azaleas and other exotic plantings. The landscape still flourishes as formal gardens with hiking trails. The garden’s peak flowering period is late January to April.

Birders and non-birders alike have been captivated by the ravine as well as the formal and natural gardens. To really appreciate the extraordinary topography, hike or bike the ravine on the extensive trails, or drive or bike around the ravine on the 1.8-mile Ravine Loop Road. Look for migratory songbirds like Cerulean and Chestnut-sided Warblers in the deciduous slope forest in season, as well as resident woodpeckers, hawks and owls. The loop road is closed to vehicular traffic one hour before sunset, but remains open for pedestrians, bicycles and wheelchairs.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feed in the gardens in spring/summer; Cedar Waxwings flock near the amphitheater in April. On occasion, the pond at the bottom of the ravine has ducks and wading birds; be on the lookout for Wilson’s Snipe and American Woodcock as well. The park’s checklist includes Eastern Screech-Owl, Wood Thrush, Blue Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole and Whip-poor-will. This site gets busy from January to April, when visitors descend on the formal gardens to see the thousands of showy azaleas, Chickasaw plums, dogwoods and camellias in bloom. During these months, the best time to visit is early in the morning and during weekdays.

Recreation facilities include picnic areas, ornamental gardens, numerous hiking trails and a 1.8-mile paved perimeter loop trail that traverses along the upper rim of this 80-acre ravine. A community civic center complex is available for meetings, weddings and special events.

The 59 acre gardens, nature trail, exercise course, and picnic areas. The 1.8 mile road around the ravines can be accessed by car, bike or walking.

1600 Twigg Street, Palatka
Admission is $4.00 (1 person in vehicle), $5.00 (2-8 people in vehicle), $2.00 (1 person walking in park). Children under 6 free.  Open Daily - 8:00 a.m. until Sundown

Directions: From the intersection of US 17/SR 100/Reid St. and Moseley Ave. in Palatka, go south on Moseley Ave. for 0.8 mi. Turn left (east) on Twigg St. and drive 0.2 mi. The park entrance (at Ravine Dr.) is on your right.

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