The gardens are a beautiful part of this park, located in Flagler County, Florida Washington Oaks also offers shoreline on the Atlantic oceanside and the Matanzas River. The property was once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington.
Louise and Owen Young who purchased the land in 1936 established the gardens and built a winter retirement home. Eventually around 1965 they donated most of the property to the state. The gardens include the use of native and exotic species, all underneath an oak hammock.
I set out exploring on this visit at the picnic area of the park. I started walking on one of the trails, while walking I could hear a rustle in the trees along the trail. I stopped to listen, I didn’t hear anything. I started walking again and yep, I heard the rustle again. I stopped looked up and there he was, a curious nosey squirrel, I realized he was following me and he continued to follow me jumping from tree to tree, to the end of that trail.
I also was able to see other creatures in the park. In the water areas and streams, running through the gardens, I was able to capture a few photos of small gators. As you can see they are well camouflaged in the water, and they also sit nicely hidden on the banks under the foliage. I also saw a couple of water snakes, most likely venomous!
You can picnic and fish from either the beach side or along the Matanzas River. The park has a few short trails for hiking and bicycling. Weddings can be preformed at the park, there are several places inside the park to choose, garden or beachside. In the visitor center, a person can learn more about the park.