The park has two ravines up to 120 feet deep with steep banks at 45 degree angles. Unlike common gullies, trenches or sinkholes caused by temporary flooding, the steephead ravine is a permanent feature with a spring-fed creek that never dries up, called Whitewater Branch. The underground water bubbling up cuts into the bank and carries the sand and soil downstream to the St. Johns River. Over thousands of years the ravine has widened and deepened to what you see today. In 1933, this ravine was 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. A 1.8-mile paved road winds around the ravine, offering pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists a view of the gardens.
Numerous picnic sites, equipped with tables and grills, are available to visitors. There is a playground located a short ways around the main park drive. The park has several geocaches hidden and offers programs and events throughout the year.
The garden's peak flowering period is azalea season, late January to late February. The hundreds of remaining azaleas have a "rolling bloom" and top out with about 50 - 60% of the plants blooming simultaneously.
Type of Day Trip: Educational, Outdoor Fun, Other
1600 Twigg St., Palatka, Florida, 32177