Introduction to Putnam County and the Palatka, Florida area…Located in the bend of the St. Johns River, Palatka has been a vital part of Florida’s history since the early 1800’s. The name originates from the Seminole-Creek name of Pilotaikata which translates to “boat crossing”. The city became a port of entry into the state and eventually a popular tourist destination in the early 1900’s. The mild weather brought many of the rich and famous to the area including Thomas Edison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, President Grover Cleveland and even Babe Ruth.
Life in Putnam County is slow paced and relaxed. However, during the Spring the county comes alive with festivals ranging from the Azalea Festival in March, to Crescent City’s Catfish Festival in April on to the famous Memorial weekend Blue Crab Festival in downtown Palatka. In between, people come to watch sailboats in the Mug Race or participate in various Bass Tournaments on the beautiful St. Johns.
In the heart of Florida, Putnam County offers many spots for recreational activities for all ages. Including Dunn’s Creek State Park, the Ravine Gardens State Park and the Rodman Reservoir. The Ocala National Forest and Welaka National Forest both offer hiking trails and great opportunities for bird watching. If you are looking for something else to do, it will not be far away. You will find Florida’s beaches and amusement parks within a short distance for day trips.
Putnam County implemented the Better Place Plan and has made improvements that impact everyone in the area, from improvements to local parks and community centers to a new Emergency Operations Center. Many of the historic buildings in Palatka that host visitors were included in the improvements.
Services offered in the area continue to expand. The Cancer Center of Putnam is a state of the art facility associated with St. Augustine’s Flagler Cancer Center. Flagler Hospital of St. Augustine offers a Specialty Care Center in East Palatka and Putnam Community Medical Center is located in Palatka. Banking is available on a local or nationwide level and several credit unions have branches here as well.