View All Parks Director's Message

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

 About Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Pink and white camellia in full bloom.


Elizabeth Weidner

Summer is in full swing at Maclay Gardens with hot days bringing lots of visitors to swim in the cooling waters of Lake Hall.  Please be aware that lifeguards clear the water for 30 minutes whenever thunder is heard, and the time starts counting again if more thunder is heard within that time period.  Swimmers may not re-enter the swimming area during those times, as it is unsafe to swim when there is potential for lightning in the area.   The water is also cleared every hour, on the hour, for a few minutes in order to allow lifeguards to visually inspect the water for safety hazards.   Those breaks are a great time to visit the food concession on weekend afternoons.  Picnicking is another popular pastime at the Lake Hall Recreation Area, along with kayaking in one of the park’s rental kayaks, or bring your canoe or other non-gasoline powered vessel to enjoy on the water.

Although the peak bloom season for the historical Gardens is during winter and early spring, the grounds are beautiful year-round.  In summer the cool green look is featured, with many different shades and textures of foliage, and spots of colorful container plantings and annual beds throughout.  A stroll through the Gardens is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city living, and there is almost always a cool breeze at the Lakeside Pavilion.  Park staff welcome volunteers to help keep our flowers in bloom.  If you’d like to join this dedicated team, or consider other volunteer opportunities, please contact the park at 850-245-2200.

The Lake Overstreet trails are also used heavily during the summer months, and are some of the shadiest trails around for hiking, biking or horse riding.  Don’t miss a stop at the overlook on the East side of the lake, where wildlife can be seen on this completely undisturbed body of water in the midst of our densely developed community!

Maclay Gardens has much to offer during the summer months.  We hope you’ll come out to enjoy the park soon.


The Great Florida Birding Trail Logo Greenways and Trails Designated Site Logo


Alfred B. Maclay Gardens is located .5 miles north on I-10 on U.S. 319/Thomasville Road. Turn west on Maclay Road. The park is a short distance on the right.


  • Volunteer -

    Volunteering at Maclay Gardens enables you to learn new skills while teaching others. From working in the garden or leading garden tours to Maclay House or visitor center docents, volunteers are an essential key to the park's success. To learn more about volunteering at Maclay, contact Ginger Nichols (850) 487-4115.

  • For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.
  • Friends of Maclay Gardens
  • 3540 Thomasville Road
    Tallahassee, FL 32309



  • Florida State Parks Pet Policy
  • Pets must be on a six-foot, hand-held leash and are only permitted in the Lake Hall recreation area or on the Lake Overstreet trails.