Exploring Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

By: Carrie McLaren


On our recent visit to Tallahassee, we were introduced to a true hidden gem in the Capital City – the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Our first stop at the park was to visit Lake Hall. Surrounded by picnic pavilions, grills and a great playground are plenty of lake shore spots to play in the sand and the water.  If you’ve got a boat – bring it along; there’s a boat ramp right at the park. too!

As we made our way further into the park, we came across over five miles of hiking and bike trails.  Each trail makes a loop through the park, providing some great scenery. 

Upon reaching the gardens, I knew we were headed somewhere special as soon as we discovered a magnificent brick walkway. We made our way down the path and I couldn’t help but take pictures of the views – they were breathtaking. At the end of the path, we saw the Maclay house, open daily for visitors to tour. The gardens overlook Lake Overstreet – adjacent to the gardens. 

While the gardens are spectacular year-round, if you’d like to visit while the flowers are blooming, park rangers consider Jan. 1-April 1 to be the high season. 

The gardens also host special events throughout the year for families, including the Tour of Gardens in May and a kids fishing day in June. In the fall, don’t miss the Scarecrows and Jazz in the Gardens and in the winter, make plans for the Camellia Christmas.

If you’re traveling through Tallahassee on Interstate 10, this state park is located only a half-mile north of the interstate.  It’s definitely a beautiful sight to see and a perfect spot for a picnic, too!

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