Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

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Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Map showing the location of Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park
Map showing the location of Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park
Location Leon County, Florida, United States
Nearest city Tallahassee, Florida
Coordinates 30°31′08″N 84°15′04″W / 30.51889°N 84.25111°W / 30.51889; -84.25111Coordinates: 30°31′08″N 84°15′04″W / 30.51889°N 84.25111°W / 30.51889; -84.25111
Area 1,176 acres (4.76 km2)
Established 1953
Governing body Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens is a 1,176-acre (4.76 km2) Florida State Park, botanical garden and historic site, located in Tallahassee, in northwestern Florida. The address is 3540 Thomasville Road.

The gardens are also a U.S. historic district known as the Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District. It received that designation on August 16, 2002. According to the National Register of Historic Places, it contains 18 historic buildings, 4 structures and 4 objects.


The gardens began in 1923 when Alfred Barmore Maclay (1871–1944) and his wife, Louise Fleischman, bought the site. Maclay named his gardens Killearn, after the birthplace of his great-grandfather in Scotland, and developed them continuously until his death. His wife continued their development, opened them to the public in 1946, and in 1953 donated some 307 acres (1.24 km2) of their estate, including the gardens, to the Florida Board of Park Service. In 1965 the gardens were renamed in Maclay's honor, to avoid confusion with the new adjacent development called Killearn Estates.


Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park with Lake Hall in background, September 2007.

The backbone of the garden plantings are azaleas and camellias. Trees include bald cypress, black gum, cyrilla, dogwood, hickory, holly, Japanese maple, oak, plum, redbud, Liquidambar, and Torreya taxifolia. Other plantings include Ardisia, Aucuba, Zamia integrifolia, Rhododendron chapmanii, Gardenia, ginger, jasmine, Oriental magnolia, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), Nandina, palmetto, sago palm, Selaginella, Wisteria, and Yucca filamentosa.

At the front of the gardens is a Native Plant Arboretum that’s maintained by the Magnolia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, which includes Piedmont azaleas, Florida flame azaleas, Eastern red columbine, white wild indigo, English dogwood, and Florida anise.


Maclay House[edit]

The 1909 Maclay House has been furnished to appear as during the residence of the Maclays. The house is open for tours during high blooming season from January through April.

Recreational activities[edit]

The park has such amenities as bicycling, birding, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horse trails, kayaking, picnicking areas, extensive walking trails, and swimming. It also has a museum with interpretive exhibits.


The gardens are open daily; an entrance fee is charged all year. Opens at 8am closes at sunset.


References and external links[edit]