Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve

Located at 945 Mackay Blvd. on 112 lakeside acres 

  • Beautiful Mackay Estate residence, available for weddings and other special events.
  • Nature trails and paved bike path along Mackay Blvd
  • Playground
  • Dock and canoe launch area
  • Restrooms

Weddings & Events – This is the ideal location for a spectacular wedding with rooms for the bridal party and groomsmen to prepare for a magnificent ceremony followed by an elegant reception. There are dual fireplaces in the grand ballroom which features a beautiful open staircase that allows for a breathtaking entrance for the bride.

front doors of mackay housedrive way to mackay house

History – The Mackay Estate was built by Alexander Mackay, a Scottish entrepreneur and investor who bought the property on Lake Rochelle in 1915 and began construction of the Mackay family estate which he called “La Rochelle.” The estate’s 8,000-square-foot residence is an outstanding example of Craftsman style architecture, with sleeping porches and large porch columns, open interior spaces and a staircase in the main room. A walled arbor with arched openings is located west of the residence and a sunken garden with a fountain is on the east. A beautiful Gazebo has been added with a breathtaking view of the lake. The home has undergone only minor alterations over the years, and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Our future plans call for part of the building to house the Lake Alfred Historical Society meeting room and museum.

trail map

Master Gardeners Classes University of Florida/IFAS Polk County 

Community gardeners, both novice and experienced, are invited to join us for FREE and exciting educational series. We meet on the first Thursday of every month at 10:00 a.m. at Mackay Gardens and Preserve. Gardeners will have the opportunity to attend one or all of the programs, where they will learn the latest Florida-friendly techniques endorsed by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and hosted by our own Polk County Master Gardeners.

Guided Tours

The City of Lake Alfred’s Parks and Recreation Department is now offering group tours of the historic Mackay family’s garden grounds. Experienced interpretive guides will escort your group of eight or more people on a very pleasant one mile stroll through the beautiful sub-tropical forest of this shady preserve. Topics such as the cultural and natural histories of the area, plant and animal identification, nature poetry, conservation concerns, and other interesting trivia make this easy walk a fun and informative experience.

Please contact the City of Lake Alfred’s Parks and Recreation Department at (863) 291-5272 for additional information.