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Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park

This beautiful ornamental garden was first planted in 1923 by Alfred and Louise Maclay on their winter property.  The Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee features a brick walkway, secret garden, reflection pool, and hundreds of dogwoods, azaleas, and camellias.

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Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park Address and Directions

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32309
Phone: 850-487-4556

Hours: 8:00 am to Sunset (Gardens are open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily)

Directions to Maclay Gardens State Park:
Maclay State Gardens is located one half mile north of I-10 on U.S. 319.

Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park Activities

The state park has many activities to offer including biking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking, horse back riding trail, parking, picnic, and wildlife viewing.

Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park Highlights

This 1,184-acre state park showcases one man’s passion for beauty—the spectacular gardens which are the centerpiece of the park. For the park’s most scenic picnic spot, try the recreation area near Lake Hall or experience the unspoiled woodlands of the Lake Overstreet trails on foot, bicycle or horse.

Maclay Gardens has something for everyone – spectacular gardens open year-round, the historic Maclay House Museum open during the blooming season, January through April, or arrange a guided group tour by calling the park.

Hike, bike or ride horseback on Lake Overstreet’s eight miles of trails of everchanging scenery. Picnic, swim, fish or enjoy the playground at the Lake Hall Recreation Area. A boat ramp and fishing dock give access to Lake Hall.

The park hosts several special events and programs. Annual events to enjoy include Parade of Gardens in May and Camellia Christmas in December. Monthly programs include plant care workshops, children’s activities and park interpretive programs and, on occasion, the park offers concerts in the park.

The gardens are a beautiful setting for weddings. Park facilities, including a small cottage for receptions or meetings, may be rented for private events. Call Maclay Gardens for reservations.

Special accommodations are offered to visitors who need a wheelchair for the gardens or a beach wheelchair to enjoy the Lake Hall Swimming Area. Golf cart tours are available upon request – complimentary to visitors.

The Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park is located in Tallahassee in Leon County Florida.

Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park History

The hills of Maclay Gardens were home to Native Americans for thousands of years. By 1825 the site had become part of a land grant to the Marquis de Lafayette.

A small African-American community of farmers and plantation employees lived here in the late 1800s.  Some owned their land, while others worked as tenant farmers raising crops to pay for their rent. Remnants of historic home sites may be seen on the Lake Overstreet property. In the early 1900s it was home to a quail plantation, combining small farms with hunting lands.

New York financier Alfred Barmore Maclay bought the land in 1923 and created this masterpiece of floral architecture for his family’s southern retreat on the rolling hills overlooking picturesque Lake Hall. The Maclays entertained many prominent people here, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Originally named Killearn Plantation and Gardens for his ancestral home in Scotland, it was later renamed Maclay Gardens to honor their creator. After Maclay’s death in 1944 his wife, Louise Maclay, continued developing the gardens and in 1953 donated Killearn Gardens to the state.

The state of Florida acquired the Lake Overstreet property in 1994. The gardens and park were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 as Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District.

The Red Hills of Tallahassee are the setting for Maclay Gardens State Park. The topography is characterized by rolling hills and deep ravines.  Eight distinct natural communities coexist with developed areas of the park.

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