"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

April 14, 2014

April 13 – Palatka, FL


Palatka City Dock

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”―John Muir

We decided to stay in Palatka another day and explore the Ravine Garden State Park. It is located in a ravine that was created over thousands of years by water flowing from the sandy ridges on the shore of the St. John’s. The CCC transformed this ravine into a garden in 1933. Described in the 1934 Florida Municipal Record as the "Nations Outstanding Civil Works Administration project," the 59 acre ravine was 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 are typical of the era. Near the park entrance is The Court of States and a 64-foot obelisk dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Much of the original landscaping still exists as formal gardens and an extensive trail system. The garden's peak flowering period is azalea season, late January to April. We were a little too late to see the real beauty of the azaleas, but we enjoyed hiking the trails of this beautiful park on such a wonderful morning.

Our morning view...the First Presbyterian Church has a wonderful site on the river.
Sights from the park and our morning hike

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