Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Tallahassee:
There is a saying in Florida that the further north you go the more southern it gets, and the Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens in northwestern Florida is a good example of that adage. Dogwoods, azaleas, redbuds and camellias are the backbone of the garden plantings here, a 1,176-acre Florida State Park, botanical garden and historic site located in Tallahassee.
The gardens began in 1923 when Alfred Barmore Maclay (1871–1944) and his wife, Louise Fleischman, bought the site. Maclay named his gardens Killearn, after the birthplace of his great-grandfather in Scotland, and developed them until his death. His wife continued their development and in 1953 donated more than 300 acres of their estate, including the gardens, to the Florida Board of Park Service. In 1965 the gardens were renamed in Maclay’s honor.
The gardens are also a U.S. historic district site, known as the Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District. According to the National Register of Historic Places, it contains 18 historic buildings and four structures. The 1909 Maclay House has been furnished to appear as during the residence of the Maclays. The house is open for tours during high blooming season from January through April.
The park’s amenities include bicycling, birding, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horse trails, kayaking, picnicking areas, extensive walking trails, and swimming. It also has a museum with interpretive exhibits.
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3540 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32312. Phone (850) 487-4556