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General Information

Maclay State Gardens
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Maclay State Gardens
Description - Alfred B. Maclay believed in using exotic flora to compliment native plants thus establishing year-round floral displays. Approximately 150 varieties of camellias and about 50 varieties of azaleas grace the brick paths, pools, walled garden, secret garden, and ponds. Huge pines and oaks compliment the southern dogwoods and redbuds. The Maclay House, circa 1909, overlooks the expansive landscape including Lake Hall. Beginning in December and continuing into summer, the gardens display fantastic scenes. The peak blooming season ranges between January and April. An additional fee is charged during this period
The Maclay House is open for tours during the blooming season. It is furnished to reflect the days when the Maclay family maintained residence. Guided tours both indoor and outdoor bring the home and grounds to life. The park does offer book sales and plant identification markers to assist the amateur gardener. In addition, the park offers horticulture workshops and seminars.

Lake Hall is a pristine freshwater habitat. Alligators, turtles and migrating waterfowl depend on the natural resource. More than 150 species of birds and a variety of wildlife have been identified at the park. Anglers enjoy catching bass, bream and bluegill.

In 1994, Florida State Parks System acquired the Lake Overstreet Property. Today, the property is an important link in the Maclay / Phipps Cultural Heritage Greenway. The area is characterized with gently sloping hills and forested ravines perfect for hiking, jogging, or horseback riding. The very clean freshwater lake has an abundance of native vegetation including water-lily, pickerel weed, purple cabomba, and variable-leaf ilfoil. Wildlife is abundant; no fishing permitted. Comprised of hardwood and pine the area provides pleasant shade even on sun drenched days. Living amid the forest are grey fox, white-tailed deer, bobcat, and a plethora of songbirds.

Attractions - The Maclay Gardens / Lake Hall area of the park permits canoeing and small sailboats. Visitors are asked to respect the surrounding shoreline, much of it privately owned. Anglers will find an abundant number of largemouth bass, bream and bluegill in the clean water. A Florida freshwater fishing license is required. The park does offer garden tours on Saturdays and Sundays during the peak bloom season, January through April. Also, special tours may be arranged by calling ahead. Picnicking and two short nature trails offer picturesque relaxation overlooking Lake Hall. Swimming is permitted.

Lake Overstreet has two longer trails, one 3.5 miles and the other 1.5 mile. Locals use these trails daily. Bicycling and horseback riding is allowed. Dogs must be kept on a leash. Insect repellent is recommended and visitors are also advised to keep an eye out for alligators.

Recreation - Visitors to Maclay State Gardens enjoy a vast array of recreations resulting from a recent land acquisition. Outdoor enthusiasts can tour the fabulous gardens, hike, bike, picnic, swim, fish, canoe, and even horseback ride.

Climate - Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The area offers a great warm escape for outdoor recreation during the cold northern months. Summer temperatures average in the low 80's Fahrenheit and mid 20's Celsius. Winters are mild with temperatures averaging between the high 40's to the high 50's Fahrenheit. The average precipitation for the north central area is diverse. The central western area receives more than 60 inches per year while the central eastern tract receives about 50 inches. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.

Location - Maclay State Gardens is located one half mile north of Interstate 10 on U.S. Highway 319.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens, 3540 Thomasville Road , Tallahassee, FL, 32308, Phone: 850-487-4556

Additional Information:
Florida State Parks - The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.
North Central Florida - North Central Florida is the site of the state's capitol and an underground cave system that is known worldwide among cave divers.

Florida Division of Recreation & Parks - Official agency website.


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