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Management & Protection
Florida State Parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Hunting, livestock grazing and timber removal are not permitted. Do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural resources. For your safety, do not feed any animals. Intoxicants and firearms are prohibited.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Pets
Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.

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Reservations for
Florida State
Parks are now
made through
Reserve America,

toll free, at
1-800-326-3521
 
RAVINE STATE GARDENS

Florida has been shaped geographically and culturally by water and Ravine State Gardens is representative of the never-ending shaping that occurs. A steep ravine was created by water flowing from beneath the sandy ridges that flank the west shore of the St. Johns River. As time passed, the slopes of the ravine were colonized by grasses, shrubs and trees.

Ravine State Gardens has long been famous for its extensive plantings of azaleas and other ornamental plants. Recreational uses are generally passive, related to the aesthetic enjoyment of the gardens. Park programs emphasize interpretation of the park's natural and cultural attributes.



CULTURAL LANDSCAPE
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 C.W.A. 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.
RELATED LINKS

Putnam County Chamber of Commerce Website
Contains information on tourism, membership and recreation in Putnam County
Email the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce

St. Johns River Cruises
Eco-tours on the St. Johns River out of Welaka.
Email St. Johns River Cruises

Palatka Heritage Information
Email Palatka Heritage

St. Johns River Water Management District Recreation Guide
Listing of all Water Management District public lands open for recreational use with
maps, icons and descriptions.


ACTIVITIES
Active recreational uses include picnicking, jogging, hiking and biking. Recreation facilities include picnic areas, the ornamental gardens, numerous hiking trails and a 1.8 mile paved perimeter loop road popular with hikers and bicyclists. A parcours trail also roughly parallels the paved perimeter loop road with exercise stations along the route. A park civic center complex is available for meetings, weddings and special events. The gardens, perimeter road, hiking trails and civic center are the focus for much of the park's visitation.

PICNICKING
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.

LINKS
Several other significant cultural, land and water resources exist in the vicinity of Ravine State Gardens. (See links on left) They include the Palatka Historic Districts, the 1887 Palatka Waterworks, the Wilson Cypress Mill site, the historic Azalea Bowl sports and recreation facility, the historic Palatka Municipal Golf Course, the Ocala National Forest, the Welaka State Forest, Etoniah Creek State Forest, Georgia-Pacific Wildlife Management Area, the Cross Florida Greenway, the St. Johns River, the Ocklawaha River, Lake George and Crescent Lake.





Ravine Gardens is located within the city limits of Palatka, near the St. Johns River, a few blocks south of downtown and U.S. Highway 17. Access to the park is from Twigg Street, east from Moseley Avenue, south from S. R. 20 and U. S. 17. Ravine State Gardens is less than an hour drive from Gainesville, Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

For more information, contact:
Ravine State Gardens
1600 Twigg Street
Mail P.O. Box 1096
Palatka, Fl 32712
Phone: 386-329-3721 Fax 386-329-3718


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