Manager's Message

Stephanie McDonald

Stephanie McDonald, Park Manager

Autumn has arrived at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. What a great time of year to take a canoe or kayak out on Lake Hall, fish off the dock or grill out with family and friends.

You can stroll through the beautiful 28-acre historic ornamental garden, designed and created by Alfred B. Maclay.

Although the Maclay House is open only during the time the family would have been here, January through April, you can still visit the walled garden, reflection pool, Black Pond and the hidden garden. Enjoy the peaceful and beautiful view of Lake Hall from the lakeside pavilion. Bring a book and enjoy yourself in this wonderful spot.

You can hike, jog, bike or even bring your horse out on our 11 miles of trails in the Lake Overstreet portion of our park. At the overlook, you may catch a glimpse of an American alligator, a great blue heron, an American eagle and the other wildlife that inhabit Maclay Gardens. Bald eagle nesting season typically runs from October 1 until the eaglets fledge around mid-May of the following year. 

Currently my favorite spot in the park is our newly updated visitor center. Come and check it out. We have mystery boxes, a large terrarium with Creature Features that change weekly and a movie room where you can learn more about the Maclay family, the house and the gardens.

The park is located in the north region of Tallahassee and is a popular place for all of the activities listed above, including photography. With our abundance of majestic oaks and wildlife, Maclay is a popular place for photos of family, flora and fauna!

Maclay Gardens also rents kayaks (single or tandem) and mountain bikes. Contact the ranger station at 850-487-4556 for details.

Interested in becoming involved with Maclay Gardens? We are always looking for volunteers to join our team! If you would like to help keep the historic gardens beautiful, work in the ranger station, keep trails maintained or help in any other way, please contact our ranger station at 850-487-4556 or fill out an application online

The Friends of Maclay Gardens Inc., our citizen support organization, is a dedicated group of volunteers that you can become involved with! They generate support for Maclay Gardens through work projects, community relations, exhibits, fundraising activities, special events and educational activities. 

We hope to see you and your family out enjoying yourselves at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. Come see why the state of Florida has chosen to protect and preserve this special place for all time!