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 ravines are 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 ravines have widened and deepened to what you see today.
In 1933, the ravines were 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 ravines, offering visitors dramatic views. 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.
Our playground is located along the Ravine Loop Trail about 1 mile from the parking lot. Included are swings, a slide and a small climbing structure nestled in the shade provided by tall oaks. Picnic tables are also located in the area. The park has several geocaches hidden and offers programs and events throughout the year.
The garden's peak flowering period is azalea season, January to March. The hundreds of remaining azaleas have a "rolling bloom" and top out with about 50% to 60% of the plants blooming simultaneously. A recent survey documented 18 different types of azaleas. The season is variable based on weather conditions.
1600 Twigg Street, Palatka, FL, 32177