Visit Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens only if you’re not opposed to having your breath taken away. This incredible North Florida attraction includes more than 50 separate gardens with cascading waterfalls, koi ponds, swans, and endless stunning views.
Had you visited the site of Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens as recently as 1990, you would have found not a series of gorgeous botanical gardens but a polluted swamp in the remains of an abandoned lime rock quarry. That’s what Dr. Raymond Webber found when he discovered the property.
Luckily for all of us, however, Webber could imagine beyond the 110-year old abandoned quarry. Over two decades of hard work followed. Quarry walls were lined with concrete and rock planters, stones were stacked for walkways and walls. Islands, pools, and cascading waterfalls were created. Pavilions, gazebos, concrete walkways, and bridges of Brazilian walnut.
Though his vision evolved as he made it reality, in 2014 the gates opened on a space transformed.
Visiting the Woods and Gardens
The garden is filled with hundreds of species of plants and flowers. The quarry’s topography and surrounding forest allow the temperate and semitropical plants in the gardens to flourish all year round. Countless strategically placed benches and overlooks provide a vantage point from which to rest and observe the beauty that surrounds you.
A wide variety of wildlife has also made the gardens their sanctuary. Songbirds, owls, doves, birds of prey, butterflies, turtles, frogs, and many other creatures.
Domesticated animals live here, too – mute swans, koi, bass, cats, a gigantic blue catfish, and more. You may even be able to feed some of these residents during your visit, if you wish. Fun!
Guided tours of the gardens are included in the admission price. Visitors may also explore the surrounding 54 acres of nature conservation woods, an excellent place for birding and nature photography.
Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens
4990 NE 180th Ave. Williston, FL. 32696
Cedar Lakes is just less than an hour southwest of our Gainesville area inn, Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast. Take along a picnic lunch and make a daytrip of it. Non-skid footwear is recommended – and for goodness sake, don’t forget your camera!