Ravine Gardens State Park Palatka, FL
A Hidden Gem
I do not mean hidden in the traditional way, Ravine Gardens State Park is not particularly hard to find. Type 1600 Twigg Street Palatka, FL 32177 in your GPS or mapquest it and you will head straight there. I call it hidden because I lived less than an hour away for two years before I found it.Check out the link for all the details. http://www.floridastateparks.org/ravinegardens/default.cfm
We visited the park as a family in December the first time, so we did not really check out the gardens section. We mostly just hiked around the ravine section of the park. As you climb deeper into the ravine, it is really unlike anything I have done in Florida before. There is a suspension bridge, a spring gurgling at the base of the ravine, and plenty of trails to explore.
His:I would encourage you to explore it, 2.5 to 3 hours. It is one of the more unique parks in Florida that I have been to. It does not have any frills though really. A safe place to have the kids play hide and seek.
Hers: I really loved it, I had to fight a little to go there as we could find no reviews or opinions online and the website does not really give a good idea of what it offers. We had a great time hiking into the ravine, jumping up and down on the suspension bridge, hanging out deep in the ravine by the spring. We had a picnic at a table near what is labeled retention ponds on the park map, but are filled with crystal clear water and some fish! No fishing here though. We hiked all the way around to where the formal gardens start but pretty much headed home because it was getting dark. I would definitely recommend this as a place for a half day excursion, even for younger families that are active.
Theirs:13 year old girl: Oh my gosh, dude we just ran around and we loved it. We played hide and seek too. 12 year old boy: I give it a solid A, it was fun, pretty to look at and I had a great time on the bridge. 11 year old boy: Loved it, it was awesome. 9 year old girl: Truly the perfect thing for the family to do when they need a break, kids will love it! Also very soothing for a couple.