Alfred B. Maclay Gardens (Map)
The beautiful ornamental gardens are located on a portion of the park’s 1,076 upland acres. The gardens were first planted in 1923 by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay after purchasing the property for their winter home. A masterpiece of floral architecture, the gardens feature a picturesque brick walkway, a secret garden, a reflection pool, a walled garden and hundreds of azalea and camellia plants. Lake Hall offers swimming and fishing, along with non-motorized boating for canoers and kayakers. Pavilions and grills along the shore provide a perfect setting for picnicking. Two short nature trails through the woods overlooking the lake will enthrall walking enthusiasts, while hikers, bicyclists and equestrians can enjoy five miles of multi-use trails surrounding Lake Overstreet which adjoins the gardens. High blooming season is from January 1-April 30, peaking in mid-to-late March.
Apalachee Regional Park (Map)
This trail is the first of its kind in Leon County and is a pristine addition to the already commendable park system present in Tallahassee. This trail was made possible by the coordinated efforts of the Leon County Parks & Recreation, FSU, and Gulf Winds Track Club. The Gulf Winds Track Club at FSU provided funding for the creation of the course.
The trail was designed to give runners the opportunity to run on several types of surfaces. When the trail is not being used for a running event, it is open to the general public for hiking, running, and biking. The course will be used not only for local races but also for district and regional school races.
Bald Point State Park (Map)
Located on Alligator Point, where Ochlockonee Bay meets Apalachee Bay, Bald Point offers a multitude of land and water activities. Coastal marshes, pine flatwoods, and oak thickets foster a diversity of biological communities that make the park a popular destination for birding and wildlife viewing. Each fall, bald eagles and other migrating raptors, along with monarch butterflies, are commonly seen heading south for the winter. Bald Point offers access to two Apalachee Bay beaches for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing. Facilities include a fishing dock and picnic pavilions.
Cascades Park (Map)
Cascades Park serves as a social center for our community, enhancing the quality of life for Tallahassee residents and visitors. While Cascades Park is a storm water facility, it also doubles as a unique urban park, offering many outdoor amenities. These amenities include a state-of-the-art amphitheater, interactive play plaza, Discovery Garden children’s play area, Smokey Hollow historic area and miles of multi-use paths for walking, jogging or biking.
Learn about upcoming performances taking place at the Capital City Amphitheater and purchase tickets for these here.
Dorothy B. Oven Park & House (Map)
The Dorothy B. Oven Park Main House features a classic manor-style home with rare magnolia paneling, wooden floors, antique furniture and artwork, full kitchen facilities and a charming lanai. The House is available to the public for rental use for seminars, weddings, meetings and receptions.
The Park is located in the heart of more than six acres of lush North Florida garden filled with azaleas, camellias, palms and other local flora giving the park an ambiance not found elsewhere. The park is open during regular business hours for tours and lease. The fees vary according to space and time requested.
The City of Tallahassee and the Parks and Recreation Department invite you to visit the Dorothy B. Oven Park and experience this new concept in our city park system. It is truly a place to get away … within the City Limits.
Plus, don’t miss the spectacular annual holiday lights display in November and December. Look left, look right, look up, look down…the magical display will amaze you on your walk or drive through the park.
Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park (Map)
The Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park – through the cooperative efforts of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the City of Tallahassee, and the property owner, Colin Phipps – was purchased in October of 1992. It is a beautiful 670 acre tract of land on the eastern shore of Lake Jackson.
The City purchased 162 acres outright, containing two existing active recreation areas. The Meadows Soccer Complex on Millers Landing Road will continue to function as a youth and adult soccer facility, and the Meridian Park area has been re-developed as a multi-use youth sports complex. The vast majority of the park, over 600 acres, will be utilized for passive forms of recreation and environmental education.
Florida Caverns State Park (Map)
This is one of the few state parks with dry (air-filled) caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. The cave has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. The Chipola River and a freshwater spring provide areas for fishing, canoeing and boating. Florida Caverns State Park is popular for camping, picnicking and horseback riding. The park does not rent horses, however stables are available for equestrian campers. The park also features a nine-hole, New Deal-era golf course set in beautiful rolling terrain. The entrance is adjacent to the main park entrance; contact the Florida Caverns Golf Course at (850) 482-4257. Guided cave tours are offered Thursday through Monday except Thanksgiving and Christmas (no cave tours on Tuesday and Wednesday). The tour lasts 35-40 minutes and is considered to be moderately strenuous. An audiovisual program about touring the cave and other natural areas of the park is available in the visitor center. Camping reservations may be made by visiting ReserveAmerica.com or by calling ReserveAmerica at (800) 326-3521, TDD (888) 433-0287. Annual special events include Spirits of the Caverns in October. Other events and ranger programs are available. Located three miles north of Marianna on State Road 166.
Cave tours are CLOSED on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
Canoe rentals are available at the Ranger Station on days the cave tours are closed.
Please be aware our cave tours sometimes sell out.
Call our Ranger Station prior to departing for the park to ensure that all tours have not sold out for that day (850)482-1228.
Florida Caverns State Park is here to serve and meet your family needs. Please stop by and enjoy your park.
FSU Reservation (Map)
Canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and more… Just $2 per person to enter the reservation and $10 for rental of water sports equipment. There are also picnic tables and pavilions, ping pong, sand volleyball and more in addition to the water sports activities. There are college kids hanging out here of course, but also family friendly. The Rez offers a wonderful outdoor camp for kids ages 8 and up also, called Camp Flastacowo. Learn more about The Rez in general here and the camp programs here.
Hours | Daily, 12pm to 7pm
Location | 3226 Flastacowo Road
Contact | 850-644-6892
Goodwood Museum and Gardens (Map)
One of the finest antebellum plantation houses ever built in this region, the Goodwood Museum and Gardens has an elaborate history filled with family feuds and numerous owners. This gracious 1834 home even spurred a Croom vs. Goodwood lawsuit that pitted in-laws against each other. Once a cotton and corn plantation, the estate now welcomes you to view its beautiful gardens and main house. The art collections and furnishings are all original to the estate.
While visiting Goodwood, stop by Fanny’s Garden Café for lunch. They are open Monday through Friday from 11:00am to 2:00pm.
Goodwood’s property is unique. Some people visiting the gardens might say they look unkempt, but actually they have been restored to capture much of their early 20th century design and presentation. Goodwood garden staff and volunteers dedicate their work to preservation of the gardens by using only heirloom plant material that was available in North Florida at the turn of the 20th century. Significant horticultural features of the property include an extensive collection of Old Garden Roses, heirloom bulbs, large Sago Palms, centuries old live oak trees and magnolias. Much of the charm of Goodwood resides in the picturesque, relaxed, informal and un-manicured presentation of the grounds. There is much flowering beauty to see in the garden throughout the year. While there is variation in our bloom seasons, guests can expect to see Camellias in bloom from late November through March, Bulbs from late December through February, Ornamental Magnolias in January/February, Ash Magnolias in March, Azaleas in March/April, Roses (best blooming) March through May, and Southern Magnolia in June.
The Main House, which is now open to the public as a museum, was built circa 1840. One of the finest antebellum plantation houses ever built in this region, it features some of the earliest fresco ceilings in Florida. The collections and furnishings are all original to the house.
Main House Tour Hours
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Main House Tour Fees
Goodwood Members: Free
J.R. Alford Greenway (Map)
The J.R. Alford Greenway has over 800 Acres of Trails and Open Space for Hikers, Mountain Bicyclists, Equestrians and Ample Horse Trailer Parking.
Jack L. McLean Park/Community Center (Map)
The 52-acre Jack L. McLean, Jr. Park provides active and passive recreation facilities, including five covered picnic shelters with grills, two comfort stations, a playground, four basketball courts, two tennis courts, a 24-station fitness trail, two bike trails, and two sand volleyball courts. The park is named for former City Commissioner Jack L. McLean, Jr., who was the driving force behind the acquisition and development of the former Southside Park.
The 20,386 square foot recreation center includes a large air conditioned gymnasium, a weight room and multi-purpose rooms that will be used for meetings, classes, and teen activities. The aquatics complex features a beach-like zero depth entry pool with in-pool play equipment and a 22-foot high water slide, along with a 25 yard, 8-lane pool for lap swimming, water aerobics, swim lessons, and open swimming. The 3,949 square foot bathhouse provides shower facilities, office space and a lifeguard control area. This facility was dedicated November 3, 2004, and is the first full project completed with the City’s 10 percent share of revenue generated by the citizen-approved Blueprint 2000 sales tax extension fund.
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:30pm; 7:00 – 9:00pm
Saturday: 2:00 – 5:30pm; 7:00 – 10:00pm
Lafayette Heritage Trail Park
The Lafayette Heritage Trail Park offers a playground, covered picnic tables, restroom facilities, and scenic views of lovely Piney Z Lake. The multi-use trails run from Tom Brown Park (with a connection to the future Goose Pond Bicycle Trail) along and across Lake Lafayette to Pedrick Road and the Swift Creek Middle School.
Park hours are from sunrise to sunset. The City asks that you contact TPD at 891-4200 if you notice anyone in the park after dark or any other suspicious behavior. The Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to working with Piney-Z to make the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park a safe and beautiful community resource.http://www.pineyz.com/park.cfm
NEW: The new Pedestrian bridge provides a safe, vital link in the Tallahassee Greenway and Trail System while preserving trees, creating scenic vistas and building a structure in harmony with a natural setting.
- Picnic Areas
- Comfort Areas
- Water Fountains
- Park Benches
- Unpaved Hiking/Walking Trails
- Biking Trails
- Wildlife Observation Areas
- Water Access
- Kayak/Canoe Launch
- Boat Ramp
- Fishing Pier
Lafayette Passage Paddling Trail (Map)
The City Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department (PRNA) has assisted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to accomplish a major maintenance operation on the Lafayette Passage Paddle Trail. Specialized equipment is currently completing a project to shred decades of accumulated muck and floating islands of vegetation that clog much of Lower Lake Lafayette, create open areas to improve fish and wildlife habitat, and assure long-term navigability on the trail. In the short term, this work created floating debris and muddy patches that temporarily blocked the trail corridor, but as of December 14, most of the trail is navigable, and native grasses and many birds are abundant.
Share the trail for Duck Season – Duck hunting is a traditional activity on Lake Lafayette. Trail maintenance and improvement is partially funded through efforts to manage waterfowl habitat and hunting access. In Leon County, hunting is allowed on Wednesdays and weekends, sunrise to sunset, November through February. Hunters are usually present during early morning and late afternoon. During those times, paddlers can show proper courtesy by enjoying only those portions of the trail that are located on City of Tallahassee property, especially all of the 200 acre Piney Z Lake. Hunting is allowed on most of Lower Lake Lafayette. For more information, visit myfwc.com. To contact PRNA staff, call 891-3866 or 933-6631.
This trail is a 7.8 mile round trip from the boat ramp at Piney Z Lake, or a 6 mile round trip from the boat ramp at the end of “Road to The Lake” in Chaires. Be sure to plan your trip accordingly. Have plenty of water, snacks, proper clothing and know your ability. Paddling the entire trail from Piney Z Lake will take about 4 hours or more. Currently, there are no dry land rest areas provided along the trail.
Entering Lower Lake Lafayette from Piney Z Lake requires a portage over the earthen dam between the lakes. The portage includes a 25′ slope from the Piney Z take-out to the top of the dam, and a similar decline to the put-in area on Lower Lake Lafayette. The entire distance is roughly 50” over a grassed earth. A beach area, covered with small gravel, is located at each end of the portage to facilitate exiting and entering boats.
The “Road to the Lake” is an actual road that follows the railroad track in Chaires. Follow the road to the end, it will enter a wooded area, to a small dirt ramp and small parking area. Boats may be trailer launched. To enter the trail from Piney Z Lake, take Heritage Park Blvd., which goes through the Piney Z Plantation neighborhood, off of Conner Blvd. Heritage Park Blvd. will end at the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park parking area. A large dirt parking area is provided at the south end of the parking lot and signs show how to reach the hand boat launch located there. Boats must be carried 120′ to the launch.
For information please call the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department Trail Supervisor, Chuck Goodheart, at 933-6631.
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park (Map)
More than eight centuries ago, Native Americans inhabited the area around Lake Jackson, just north of Tallahassee. The park site was part of what is now known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Today the park encompasses four earthen temple mounds, with two available for viewing by the public. The largest mound is 278 feet by 312 feet at the base and approximately 36 feet in height. The village at the base of these mounds was a cultural, religious and population center in 1100-1200 AD. Our trails offer visitors a chance to hike within the park. The interpretive trail passes remnants of Florida’s Territorial Period and early statehood (1825-1860) when the land was part of a large plantation owned by Colonel Robert Butler. The remains of an 1800s grist mill may be seen along the trail. The nature trail winds through a sandhill community, passing many native trees and plants. Picnic tables are located within view of the two largest mounds. A pavilion is available for family gatherings and other special occasions. Guided tours are available upon request. Lake Jackson offers numerous opportunities for wildlife viewing and bird watching. http://www.floridastateparks.org/lakejackson/default.cfm
The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.
Leon Sinks Geological Area (Map)
In the Apalachicola National Forest just south of Tallahassee, Leon Sinks Geological Area offers a delightful introduction to the wonders of karst topography.
Karst is a landscape that happens through deep erosion of a soft rock such as limestone, and it leads to the most unusual visual treats as water flows into, out of, and through the Swiss-cheese holes that occur within karst. Much of Florida’s water – our aquifers – is within karst, which means there is little to no filtration as groundwater seeps into the spongy limestone bedrock and starts flowing from point to point.
Years ago, you could take a glass-bottomed boat ride across Wakulla Springs, just a few miles to the southeast of Leon Sinks. No more. The clarity of the spring now suffers as groundwater contaminated by nitrates – from leaching septic tanks to lawn fertilizer – works its way through the Woodville Karst Plain, of which Leon Sinks is a major feature, to one of the largest springs in the world. At Leon Sinks, you’ll see pools of water in a variety of colors at the bottom of deep sinkholes. You can stare right into a watery cave, watch water vanish in a losing stream, and see it pop up again in a river rise. The trail system is rugged but fun, and filled with botanical beauty, especially in early spring.
Fees / Permits: entrance fee
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Bug factor: low to moderate
Restroom: at the trailhead
Camping is not permitted at Leon Sinks. The trail system consists of two loops – the 3.1 mile Sinkhole Trail (blazed blue) and the 2.3 mile Gum Swamp Trail (blazed lime green)- and a 0.5 mile cross-trail that they both share to make their loops. I typically hike the trail system counter-clockwise, so I can make the decision at the cross-trail whether I want to continue on the outer loop or not. This hike describes the full outer loop.
Check out the interpretive information at the trailhead before you start your hike. This is a simply fascinating place and getting to understand karst a little better before you begin climbing in and out of sinkholes will greatly enhance your appreciation for the weird landscapes that lie ahead.
Tucked away on three acres off High Road is a fascinating property hidden from view. A visitor walks down a wooded path and is greeted by a majestic live oak tree shading a soft lawn. This tree, a sapling in the time of Shakespeare, keeps company with something not seen in Florida, an English Tudor-style cottage, which looks as if it comes from the pages of a child’s book of fairy tales. With a steeply gabled roof, diamond-pattern leaded glass windows and stone foundation, the cottage continues its vigil over the gardens, labyrinth and tree surrounding it.
The grounds are open from dawn to dusk each day and visitors are always welcome. The cottage is open for viewing many weekends though you may wish to email or check the calendar to see whether it is so beforehand. This green space is maintained by volunteer’s efforts and receives no public funding and we ask that you respect the property and its lovely oak. Remember, please do not climb on the tree’s limbs so that they may still embrace the ground in future generations.
Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway (Map)
The Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway parallels six miles of Tallahassee’s historic canopy roads through 500 acres of the Red Hills Region of northern Florida. The trail traverses rolling hills in mixed hardwood and pine forests, interspersed with several large pastures reflecting its agricultural background. Along the trail, users may observe over 46 species of birds, including ibis, egrets, and herons, Sherman’s fox squirrel, and a variety of plants and wildflowers.
St. George Island State Park (Map)
Miles of undeveloped beaches on this barrier island provide the perfect setting for this park, which offers ample opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, canoeing, boating, hiking, camping and nature study. Two natural boat ramps provide access to the bay for small boats. Anglers can fish for flounder, redfish, sea trout, pompano, whiting, Spanish mackerel and other fish off the beach or in the bay. Few parks offer better opportunities for shelling. Sea turtles and shore birds such as the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer and willet nest in the park during the summer. The park has six large picnic shelters equipped with grills, tables and nearby restrooms. The campground features 60 full-facility campsites with water, electric, a central dump station and two bathhouses. Camping reservations may be made by visiting ReserveAmerica.com or by calling ReserveAmerica at (800) 326-3521, TDD (888) 433-0287. A primitive campsite can be accessed by a 2.5-mile trail or by canoe or kayak. A group camp area is available for scouts and other organized groups. Annual special events include the Coffee in the Campground from December through March, Coastal Cleanup in September and Oyster Festival and 5K Run in October. Other events and ranger programs are available. Located on St. George Island, 10 miles southeast of Eastpoint, off U.S. 98.
St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail (Map)
The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail runs 20.5 miles from Florida’s capital city to the coastal community of St. Marks. Through the early 1900s, this historic railroad corridor was used to carry cotton from the plantation belt to the coast for shipment to textile mills in England and New England. Officially part of Florida’s Greenways and Trails System, this state trail has also been designated as a National Recreation Trail®. This was the first rail-trail in the Florida’s system of greenways and trails to be paved, providing a scenic experience for running, walking, bicycling and skating. Horseback riding is available on the adjacent unpaved trail. Here outdoor enthusiasts can hike a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail, which joins the Trail at U.S. 98 and continues south. At the main trailhead, there is access to the Munson Hills/Twilight Mountain Bike Trails in the Apalachicola National Forest. At the southern terminus of the trail, the coastal City of St. Marks welcomes trail users to enjoy seafood dining, fishing and entertainment and learn about the history of the area at San Marcos de Apalachee Historical State Park. The Tallahassee-St. Marks State Trail is a completed section of the developing, 120-mile “Capital City to the Sea Loop” corridor and is a destination along the “Big Bend Scenic Byway.”
St. Marks Natural Wildlife Refuge (Map)
This unique refuge was established in 1931 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds. It is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It encompasses 68,000 acres spread out between Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties along the Gulf Coast of northwest Florida. The refuge includes coastal marshes, islands, tidal creeks and estuaries of seven north Florida rivers, and is home to a diverse community of plant and animal life. The refuge also has strong ties to a rich cultural past, and is home to the St. Marks Lighthouse, which was built in 1832 and is still in use today.
Throughout the year there is ample opportunity for bird watching, as well as spotting other wildlife. Click here for listing of which animals to look for each month. There are wonderful hiking trails and great fishing as well.
Enjoy your visit to the St. Marks Natural Wildlife Refuge.
Tom Brown Park (Map)
Tom Brown Park, the City’s most active regional park, is located just to the west of the park. Tom Brown Park offers 2 playgrounds, 24 holes of disc golf, tennis, baseball, softball, basketball, handball, BMX track, radio control track, and various trails for hiking, biking and jogging.
Wacissa Springs (Map)
The Wacissa River is a clear, spring fed river that originates in Jefferson County and flows 20 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. The 12 known springs are located in the upper 1.5 miles of the river. The river winds through swamps and marshes. A little ways past Goose Pasture is the Slave Canal. This canal was dug more than 170 years ago to transport cotton to the Gulf. The designated canoe trail is 14 miles long and starts at Wacissa Springs.
Wakulla Springs State Park (Map)
Home of one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world, this park plays host to an abundance of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, deer, and birds. Daily guided riverboat tours provide a closer view of wildlife, and glass bottom boat tours are offered when the water is clear. Swimming is a popular activity during the hot summer months. A nature trail offers a leisurely walk along the upland wooded areas of the park. The Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 by financier Edward Ball and is open year-round. A full-service dining room overlooks the spring; lodge meeting facilities offer an excellent place for retreats. Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.http://www.floridastateparks.org/wakullasprings/default.cfm
The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.
465 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, Florida 32327
- $6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
- $95.00 – $150.00 per night.
Boat Tour Fees:
- $4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle
- $2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass
- $95.00 – $150.00 per night.
- $8.00 per adult
- $5.00 per child, 12 and under