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Visiting nature parks in any city provides stunning landscape greenery and offers several recreational activities. Are you planning to visit and look for some exciting parks in Tallahassee with your family and friends? The article you are reading is the right one for your search. Before discussing the topic, let us learn about Tallahassee, its location, and other related facts.
1. Facts about Tallahassee
Tallahassee is a city located in Leon County, Florida, USA. It’s Florida’s capital city since 1824, founded in 1821, located 28 miles North of the Gulf of Mexico and 12 miles South of Georgia. This historic cultural town in North Florida has a small population with trails, parks, art galleries, and museums committed to arts and culture.
The city of Tallahassee has the nickname “Tally.” Additionally, Tallahassee, FL, is a mountainous spot in Florida known for rolling hills, outdoor recreation, and peaks.
Per World Population Review statistics, the population in Tallahassee, FL, is 200,606. It also gives information on demographics and education. The city of Tallahassee ranks as the 9th largest in Florida and the 134th largest in the USA.
Florida’s capital city was recognized with the title ” Tree City USA” for preserving the beauty of a city of trees and honored as the USA’s best city for Parks and Recreation.
1.1. Weather and Climate in Tallahassee
Tallahassee, FL, experiences a sub-tropical humid climate with long, warm summers and frequent thunderstorms. The summer starts in June and lasts till September, while winter begins in December and lasts till February. On average, the sunny days are 233.
January is the most chill, and the temperature falls between 41°F and 64°F. July is quite hot, and the temperature lies between 72°F and 91°F.
2. Most Popular Tallahassee Parks
Tallahassee, FL, has beautiful ornamental gardens and nature attractions. It is unique for its rolling hills and beautiful landscapes. Let us discuss here the best parks in Tallahassee.
2.1. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, called Maclay Gardens, is Tallahassee’s most popular ornamented garden, with an 1176-acre area. Alfred B. and Louise Maclay purchased this property as their winter home and planted it in 1923.
In this luxurious and lush Maclay Gardens State Park, you will enjoy hanging in a European-style sculpture and manor while wandering in the park. This park features a secret garden, rich history, floral architecture, a walled garden, a picturesque brick walkway, swaying giant oak trees with sunshades, hundreds of Camellia Azaleas, cypresses, dogwoods, Japanese maples, and a serene reflection pool.
Trails include six miles of shared-use pathways, five miles of cycling paths, and two nature trail paths. Pavillion structures and grills provide a picnic setting along the lake coast. It is interesting to note that this beautiful park is also a popular venue for weddings. The other activities the park offers are bird watching, fishing, canoeing, bicycling, and hiking.
2.2. St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail /St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, known as “St.Marks,” is a 16-mile trail and a perfect spot for riding a bike. It is the first rail trail that connects the city of Tallahassee to the coastal section of St. Marks. During the late 1900s, this railroad transported cotton from nearby estates to the St.Marks coast.
This rail trail is an official division of Greenways and Trails (Florida). It also depicts a historic railroad site giving some unique views identified as the National Recreation Trail. There are 20 miles of paved roads for enthusiasts like cyclists, joggers, and walkers. Bike trails offer an exciting adventure for mountain bikers.
The trail starts at the Capital Circle Southeast and terminates at the junction of St. Marks River and Wakulla River. Here, you can find places to chill and relax, take breaks, enjoy snacking, and listen to the sounds of water rolling.
2.3. Tom Brown Park
Tom Brown Park is one of the vast recreational parks in Tallahassee on the eastern side. The park’s area is 255 acres that feature baseball fields, softball fields, tennis courts, a golf course, mountain bike trails (Magnolia Mountain Bike Trail), picnic spots, and walking trails.
Besides, Tom Brown Park consists of a dog park with fencing for the dogs to play. With a massive play area, you will find kids crowd playing slides, swing sets, monkey bars, and much more. Tom Brown Park is an excellent place to spend a few weekends making friends and becoming lively.
2.4. Apalachee Regional Park
Apalachee Regional Park is one of the eminent parks in Tallahassee, FL, for off-road running contests. The runners get to run on flat roads, lowlands, rocky terrains, or pine forests. In case of the absence of the event, the Apalachee Regional Park is open to the public for running, biking, and hiking. Apalachee Regional Park also benefits as a point for local, district, and regional school races.
2.5. Lake Talquin State Forest
The Lake Talquin State Forest connects Quincy and Tallahassee and is part of the Tallahassee metropolitan region. The park gets the name “Talquin” from the cities of Tallahassee (Tal) and Quincy (Quin) and has been managed by the Florida Forest Service since 1977.
Built in 1927, the lake supplied hydroelectric power to the neighboring areas. This lake in Florida, USA, now holds the state record for the largest speck fish (crappies) and is one of the best fishing spots in the country with an area of 17,491 acres.
The park offers visitors other activities like boating, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, bird-watching, picnicking, and photography. Also, the park features camping spots for those who like to link with nature’s beauty. The forest also has trees like maple, oak, and hickory.
Moreover, the park also provides wildlife viewing and several bird species in the state. Deer, birds of prey, bobcats, turkeys, alligators, and wading birds are a few animals and birds spotted here. You can bring items to set up your picnic tops and enjoy meals with your near and dear ones.
2.6. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is one of the best parks in Tallahassee for summer. When the temperature in North Florida rises to 90°F, Wakulla Springs State Park benefits as the best place to enjoy the coolness of Wakulla Springs.
Wakulla Springs has one of the enormous and most profound clearwater springs. It stays under a cool temperature of 68°F throughout the year. Taking a perfect dip in this water will keep you cool and chilling during the hot summertime. The other activities in this park are biking, hiking trails, and jogging.
This beautiful park also offers to watch animals like alligators, manatees, and turtles of 6000 acres. You can also enjoy nature views with boat tours through the local park rangers.
2.7. Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park is one of the parks in Tallahassee for picnic tables, trails, and enjoying serene nature. Further, this park also holds a historical background as it is one of the excavation sites in Florida in Northern Tallahassee.
Back to history, Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological Park features a group of countless native American Tribes. They include the Choctaw, Creek, Apalachee, and Cherokee tribes, to name a few. From 1000 to 1500 AD, the Fort Walton Culture inhabited this area. The park is the capital of chieftaincy and the dignified center of the Fort Walton Culture.
This park is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and has been managed by the Florida State Park System since 1966.
It was the focal point of legislative and holy ceremonies at its peak. Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological Park offers visitors mounds with steps and viewing platforms at the summit.
2.8. Cascades Park
Cascades Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Tallahassee, FL, with plenty of space to have fun with kids, family, and friends. Located in downtown Tallahassee, the park covers an area of 24 acres and forms the social center of entertainment for most people.
This park includes outdoor amenities like multi-use trails, an interactive water fountain, pup fountains, State of Art Amphitheater, Florida’s Prime Meridian Marker, and playgrounds for kids. Kids can enjoy the slide and swinging benches located in the Cascades Park.
Cascades Park is pet-friendly and offers a 2.3-mile trail for jogging, walking, and biking. Additionally, there is a 1-mile loop with slight inclinations. Cascades Park also has beautiful lakes and ponds to relax and a mouth-watering restaurant, “The Edison,” which is a must-visit.
2.9. Lake Ella Park
Lake Ella Park is one of the alluring parks in Tallahassee, FL, perfect for a quiet stroll located north of downtown Tallahassee. The park is 12 acres with fountains, picnic shelters, and walking trails to enjoy nature.
The amenities in Lake Ella Park are trails for walking, a swimming pool, roller skating, skateboarding, ponds, and playgrounds for kids. Also, you will get a glimpse of watching a variety of ducks. Lake Ella Park also hosts food truck events, concerts, seasonal markets, and other holiday celebrations.
2.10. Lafayette Heritage Trail Park
Lafayette Heritage Trail Park is one of the quaint and attractive parks in Tallahassee. The park entrance is on the east side of Heritage Park BLVD (Boulevard) in the Piney Z Plantation Subdivision, where you will find picnic shelters, restrooms, a playground, drinking water, a trailhead, and a bike wash. Water for drinking is accessible at the source and playfield.
The Lafayette Heritage Trail is a shared-use trail that connects well with Tom Brown Park and JR Alford Greenway. The park also features a 3.5-mile curve encircling Piney Z Lake and Lake Lafayette. Lafayette Heritage Trail Park provides visitors with places for activities like fishing, recreation, exercising, running, walking, bicycling, sitting, and relaxing.
2.11. JR Alford Greenway
JR Alford Greenway is one of the most well-known parks in Tallahassee, FL. A surprising fact is that Tom Brown Park, Lafayette Park, and JR Alford Greenway connect for long-distance running, like the Tallahassee Marathon.
The park covers an area of 874 acres, and gardens feature open pasture lands, hardwood forests, woodlands, a freshwater marsh, and a lake setting, with another site on the Great Florida Birding Trail. The common birds in Alford Greenway are eastern meadowlarks, white-throated and grasshopper sparrows, wintering palm warblers, and red-tailed hawks.
The JR Alford Greenway has 17 miles of multi-use trails, equestrian trail systems, wooded trails, and terrains for mountain bikers and walkers.
2.12. Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
The Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park preserves the site of the 2nd-largest Civil War Battle of 1865 (Battle of Natural Bridge). Several federal volunteers and soldiers fought against Union troops and defeated them to protect Tallahassee, FL, from falling under Union Control.
This park provides visitors with picnic shelters and fishing spots surrounded by woods with a quiet and pleasant place to sit, relax, and reflect throwback to Florida’s past Civil War. The water has fish species like catfish, bream, crappie, striper, and Florida black bass. A reenacted performance act of the battle happens in this park on the 1st weekend of March to memorialize it. The park features guided tours for visitors.
2.13. Dorothy B Oven Park
Dorothy B Oven Park is one of the lush green parks in Tallahassee that gives a feel of a secret garden with charm and beauty. It is a favorite park of the locals to a tranquil escape for a picnic spot from the hustle and bustle of a busy city.
This park property was a part of the Lafayette Land Grant awarded by the USA Congress in 1824 to General Marquis de Lafayette Breckenridge Gamble, Florida’s first camellia grower, who established this nursery park in 1919. Its last owner, Will J. Oven Jr., donated the park to the City of Tallahassee.
During Christmas, the Dorothy B Oven Park exhibits decorations, twinkling lights, and holiday music as a part of the festival, providing a beautiful walk. The area of the park is 7 acres that have flower blooms, Camellia Azaleas, and a pond.
2.14. Florida State University Reservation
Florida State University Reservation is a lakefront park on Lake Bradford owned by the Florida State University (FSU) Campus in Tallahassee, FL. The park has an alternate name, “Rez,” with an area of 73 acres.
The activities to enjoy are kayaking, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, disc golf, sand volleyball, and more. Students and other faculty on this campus can avail of the facilities for free, but the community members must pay a fee. A staggering feature of this park is that you can rent water equipment like canoes, sailboats, and kayaks if you don’t have one.
2.15. Lake Overstreet Trail
Natural beauty abounds at Lake Overstreet Trails in North Florida. Lake Overstreet trails exhibit a sign of a natural freshwater lake with a total area of 877 acres.
The trail is 5 miles long with a double loop and for shared use that heads through woods and around the area of Lake Overstreet. In the other section of the park, there is a trail of 6 miles for single-track mountain biking trails. A loop of 2 miles is available at the Forest Meadows park entrance.
This lake also serves as a habitat for marine life, like freshwater fish, alligators, otters, turtles, bald eagles, osprey, migratory waterfowl, and wading birds. There are animals like gray foxes, bobcats, and white-tailed deer in the woods. The hardwood forests include oak, sweet gum, pines, magnolias, and dogwood trees.
2.16. Fred George Greenway Park
Fred George Greenway Park is located Northwest of Tallahassee. The best part of this park is its lush greenway that covers an area of 175 acres, giving a natural charm. A 2-mile trail is available for biking, hiking, and running.
The amenities in this park are baseball and football fields, a multi-purpose field for soccer or frisbee, a water fountain, picnic tables, a playground with equipment, and restrooms. Moreover, the park shows a great feature of animal sketches on the grounds.
2.17. Railroad Square Art Park
The Railroad Square Art Park is an industrial business park, previously a lumberyard (storage place for timber and other building materials). Art galleries, restaurants, shops, and antique stores occupy the 10 acres of its grounds.
The park is an arena of creativity and activities like a pinball arcade and an indoor rock climbing gym. You can also enjoy entertainment options like live music and artist studios to watch their creations. Also, enjoying food scenes with multiple dining and beverage options is available.
2.18. Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park
The City of Tallahassee operates Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, one of the nature parks in the city along the coast of Lake Jackson. With an area of 670 acres, Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park is a spacious and wild urban park. The Northwest Florida Water Management owns 500 acres, and the City of Tallahassee owns 170 acres.
Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park provides recreational activities like mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian trail systems. The Florida Trail Association manages the hiking trails, which are about 6.8 miles long. These trails have three loops and two connector trails.
You can enjoy hiking with the combination of these trail loops or with a 12-mile dirt road. Along the hike, Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park showcases trees of a striking size and plenty of Trillium plant, an Appalachian wildflower, blooming in February.
2.19. Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway
Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway runs collateral to the Miccosukee Canopy Road in Tallahassee, FL. The park has an area of 503 acres with open pasture land and forest woodlands and is 6.5 miles long. Initially, it was a pasture for cattle and grounds for quail hunting.
The park features hiking, jogging, cycling, mountain biking, and horseback riding. As you pass through woods and pine, you can relish the intermittent beauty of the scenery. Along the greenery, you can explore several trails like a dirt trail, create loops, or lollipop trails.
2.20. AJ Henry Park
AJ Henry Park is a small, lovely park in Northeast Tallahassee, FL. The name comes after the owner of the park, Dr. Joe Henry. The area of the park is 72 acres. It consists of playgrounds for kids, covered and uncovered picnic tables, a comfort station, walking and nature trails, and parking areas.
2.21. Myers Park
Myers Park is a lush green tree park in Tallahassee, FL. It is a recreational park used for workouts with baseball and tennis courts. It also includes picnic pavilions, open fields, playgrounds, nature trails, bathrooms, and swimming pools.
2.22. Governor’s Park
This park has open grassy areas and woodlands of 200 acres for activities like picnicking, jogging, dog walking, kite flying, running, playing with kids, unpaved walking, and hiking and biking. The park also has shady places under trees for pleasant relaxation, picnic shelters, reading books, and taking naps.
2.23. Old Fort Park
Old Fort Park is a historical landmark of the Civil War in Tallahassee, FL, built in 1862. Known as “Fort Houston,” it once belonged to E.A. Houston, Captain Patrick Houston’s Father. This park is now open to the public during daylight hours and serves as a playground for children.
3. Final Note
A park visit is a pleasant way to enjoy a romantic stroll or picnic for a holiday with your family or friends to escape the bustle of city life. It is the best way to connect with the natural beauty around you to relieve yourself from any stress or worries.
In the article, we have covered all the top-class parks in Tallahassee for you to explore and find the right choice to get the benefits for planning the trip to Tallahassee. Plan your destination efficiently and get the most out of it! Cheers!!