Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.

State Park Guide
To discover and experience all of the Real Florida at Florida's 145 state parks, ask a Park Ranger where you can pick up a copy of the Florida State Park Guide, or call 850/488-9872.

| Front Page | More Florida State Parks | Park News | Parks Map |
| Parking, Camping & Cabin Fees | Park Rules |

Reservations for
Florida State
Parks are now
made through
Reserve America,

toll free, at


On the rolling hills overlooking picturesque Lake Hall, Alfred B. Maclay created a masterpiece of floral architecture. Maclay, a New York financier, began developing the gardens in 1923 when the property served as the family's southern retreat. After his death in 1944, Mrs. Maclay carried on the development according to his plans. The gardens were donated to the state in 1953 by Mrs. Maclay.

The use of native plants in landscaping to complement the exotic flora is evident throughout the gardens. Huge pines and oaks tower over the flowering dogwoods and redbuds. Camellias (about 150 varieties) and azaleas (about 50 varieties) are the predominant flowering shrubs; however, more than 160 other exotic species or varieties provide a rich diversity. Various walks and paths, pools and the Maclay House with its spacious lawns, provide a variety of floral scenery.

Blooming begins in December with the camellias and continues into the summer. Each week yields a new visual experience as each species completes its flowering cycle. An admission fee to the gardens is charged during the peak of the blooming season, between January 1, and April 30.

The hills and shoreline of the park are forested with mixed hardwoods and pines which provide additional natural beauty in all seasons. Lake Hall is a pristine habitat for freshwater fish, alligators, turtles and migrating waterfowls. More than 150 species of birds and numerous other animals, including deer, bobcat and grey fox, have been observed in the park's woodlands.

The Maclay house, open January through April, is furnished as it appeared when the Maclay family resided there. Exhibits interpret the family and gardens. A booklet for sale at the ranger station interprets the gardens and park. Labels identifying the plants in the gardens are helpful to the plant enthusiast.

Additional written materials are available at the ranger station. Classes on ornamental plant care are available throughout the year by the landscape gardener. Call for dates and times.


Guided garden tours are conducted on Saturdays and Sundays during the peak bloom, around mid-March. Call ahead for dates and times. Special tours also may be arranged with a three-week notice.

The park offers picnicking, swimming, boating and nature study.

The picnic area overlooking Lake Hall is the most picturesque in north Florida with a large picnic pavilion available for rental.

Largemouth bass, bream and bluegill are caught in Lake Hall. A Florida freshwater fishing license is required.

The lake is excellent for canoeing and small sailboats. Only boats without motors or with electric motors are allowed. Visitors are reminded that most of the lake's shoreline is private. Please respect the property of others.

The Big Pine Nature Trail meanders through the wooded hillside overlooking Lake Hall.

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

For more information, contact
Maclay State Gardens
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
(850) 487-4556


This site is designed by Absolutely Florida - The Sunshine State @ Your Fingertips