Azalea Afternoon

Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka, Florida is always a treat to visit. This State Park is one of nine New Deal-era state park in Florida. The park has two ravines as deep as 120 feet with very steep banks. There are also formal gardens and a trail system.

This time of year there is the added bonus of azalea bushes bursting with colorful flowers. Due to a combination of extra warm weather in February and more than usual rain, the pink and coral colored azaleas are in full bloom. The red, plum and white are blooming as well. The blooms will begin to dwindle by April, but there are rolling blooms which flower through the summer. A recent survey documented at least eighteen different types of azaleas in the park.We walked the Azalea Trail, a two-and-a-half-mile trail that winds through the park’s ravine systems. The route is shady and it crosses historic suspension bridges, stone staircases, narrow and steep paths, muddy bottoms, and roots to scramble. It is a fun and immersive experience. 

Another route which offers views from above and is a less challenging hike is the Main Park Loop. This path is a 1.8-mile paved loop that follows the boundaries of the ravine systems.

Spring ahead and enjoy azalea season!

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