Ravine Gardens State Park

RavineGardens2015title

child friendly
outdoor
hiking
bike friendly, nearby trails below
bugs, woods
playground
fitness course
suspension bridge
gardens
fee $5/car
Geo-caching
45 min from St. Augustine
1 hour 10 min from Daytona Beach & Jax
1 hr 45 min from Orlando

Ravine Gardens is a hidden gem among the Florida State Parks and a great place to visit in the fall and winter here in Central, Florida.

It’s a ravine and anyone who has lived in Central Florida for any amount of time knows that while the state has some hill country, a steep incline is hard, if not impossible, to find.

Steve and I before cell phone selfies, c. 2007

==>Enter Ravine Gardens.

We first visited with the boys in November of 2007 and then I went back with my niece Dani and Aubry in December 2013 and my son Vaughan, took his family this last January.

Editing this in Oct 2015 got me thinking… I’m due for another visit. Comment below if you want to go with me.

anyway…

Wear/bring:
comfy walking/hiking shoes,
pack a lunch,
bring your camera and any baby or child wearing backpacks you may have; little ones may not make the whole trip on foot.

Suggestions:
Park and begin to explore the ravine by walking through the beautiful planned gardens near the parking and visitor/civic center. There are several paths so just pick one and enjoy the hike.

Hike to the bottom of the ravine as well as the sides and top.

In the ravine there are two suspension bridges, which all kids seems to love and there is plenty of room for everyone to roam safely as you follow the paths through the natural beauty of this neck of the world’s woods.

I like to enter the ravine and head right, circling the whole ravine with all it’s ups and downs. Once I have completed the ravine hike I like to hop in my car and begin the 1.8 mile drive around the ravine.

Illana on suspension bridge 2015

Illana on suspension bridge 2015

Vaughan (and Justin) in suspension bridge 2007

There is a one-way road that circles the top edge of the ravine.

On this road, there is a playground, several picnic areas, a fitness trail with exercise stations, this park awaits your laughs, pictures and memories. I suggest a visit to the playground with little ones before your drive back home.

Stevie laughs!!

Stevie laughs!!

For those with more energy you can run/walk/bike the paved loop taking advantage of the exercise stations along the way.

BIKING

I love that Florida is getting connected by pedestrian and biking trails. Ravine Gardens in near the Palatka-St Augustine State Trail and Palatka-Lake Butler.

Whatever way you choose, I  know you’ll enjoy this part of Florida that takes the typical “flatland” stereotype and throws it right out the window.

Ravine Gardens State Park sits on my Top 5 Florida list because of the natural beauty, elevation change and formal gardens.

Oh and don’t forget to Geo-cache, last I knew there were three caches in the park.

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One thought on “Ravine Gardens State Park

  1. Pingback: Ravine Gardens State Park | the frugal travel mom

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