Ravine Gardens State Park

Ravine Gardens State Park is a beautiful park in Palatka that features exactly what it says – a ravine and gardens. Similar to Devil’s Millhopper in Gainesville, looking over the edge from the top or looking up to the top from the bottom feels a lot like being in the mountains — something I relish, living in mostly-flat Florida.

This was our second hike of the day, the first being Rice Creek Conservation Area, and since this trail is only 2.5 miles long, I expected it to be a breeze. For some reason, it hadn’t occurred to me that this is a ravine, and there would probably be a fair amount of climbing involved. Hiking for miles on flat land is one thing, I have officially learned; walking up and down stairs for 2.5 miles is something completely different.

It was beautiful though. We hiked the Azalea Trail which through March is in full bloom, and it was awesome. During the weekend though, it is pretty heavily trafficked so there were a lot of screaming kids and music blaring from cars driving the scenic route at the top of the ravine. Not a great place to go if you’re looking to escape into nature, but it does make for a beautiful walk and a nice way to spend the afternoon.

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