Manager's Message

Stephanie McDonald

Stephanie McDonald, Park Manager

This is a great time of year to take a stroll through our beautiful 28-acre historic, ornamental garden, designed and created by Mr. Maclay. 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 Oct. 1 until the eaglets fledge around mid-May of the following year.

Currently, we are remodeling portions of the Maclay House, but the view from the porch is amazing and we have scattered seating throughout the surrounding area. Enjoying the solitude of the gardens is one of my favorite pastimes . The Secret Garden offers a really nice spot to enjoy a good book and have time to yourself. The Lakeside Pavilion offers a view to get lost in, but my favorite spot is the black pond, designed to reflect its surroundings when in bloom. It is glorious.

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 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.