Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is a state park located in Tallahassee, Florida. The park consists of a former private estate that includes a house, gardens, and an overlay of native forest. The park features a wide variety of beautiful gardens, including a rose garden, an Azalea Garden, and a Historic Garden. Visitors can also enjoy the tranquil Lake Hall, which is perfect for fishing or paddleboarding. The Maclays also built a house on the property, which is now used as a museum and rental facility. The Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is open to the public year-round and offers a variety of activities such as hiking, picnicking, and bird watching.
The gardens were created by Alfred B. Maclay, a successful businessman from Pennsylvania, and his wife, Louise. Mr. Maclay purchased the land in 1923 and began developing the gardens within a year. He hired a landscape architect to design the gardens and hired workers to build dams, dredge lakes, and plant trees and shrubs. The gardens were completed in 1932 and opened to the public in 1933. Today, the gardens are recognized as a National Historic Landmark and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is also part of the Florida Women’s Heritage Trail, which highlights sites that have played a significant role in the history of women in Florida.
At Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the gardens or participate in one of the many events offered by the park. The “A Timeless Glimpse” event offers participants the opportunity to learn about the history of the gardens, while the “Sinkhole Guided Walk” provides an up-close look at the geological formations that make Tallahassee unique. For those interested in Florida’s pioneer history, the “Pioneer Village Tour” offers a glimpse into what life was like for early settlers. And for those looking to learn more about the area’s protected species, the “Protected Species Awareness” event is a must-attend. There are more events offered throughout the year around Tallahassee, so be sure to check the park’s website for more information. With so much to see and do, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is sure to please everyone in the family.