Little Excursions: Mackay Gardens

Lake Alfred, Florida, little town in central Florida much like the rest–three layers of color–blue sky, green landscape, white sand. Mackay Gardens is a little gem.

Mackay Gardens and Park 160

a hidden gem akin to finding an apple snail shell on the lakeshore, or in this case, a whole cache of snail shells


First thing to know is that the two little asphalt trails entrances across from the new ticky-tasky houses are really the entrances. They are single lane entries and that’s more than what’s needed–it is a quiet little park. There are two parking lots so no worries.


old garage? patio? mother-in-law house???

The gardens part is the landscaping around this historic mansion, now used for office space and maybe a wedding reception now and then. In addition to that are the Florida water-wise demo gardens which feature an apple cactus–yum!!

Mackay Gardens and Park 056

The red fruit is really good–it’s white and mealy inside with black seeds that look like dog ticks but nevermind that, the fruit is really good.


Then all around that is this wild park–dense trees, little spur trails (watch out for banana spiders), beautyberry, armadillos. And you do get to the lake. The dock is a bit dodgy but it didn’t cave in.


My fearless canine companion, and sometimes guest blog writer, says since he doesn’t see the alligators that they obviously are not there. Nay Nay.


The place is kept lovely by volunteers and there’s school programs sometimes, not enough really. Frequently are little rooms with natural benches–great spots for a bit of learning amid exploration and nature play. Ah, if only they would pay me…




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