I pulled into a small dirt parking lot and parked in front of a small enclosure, covered by a small roof to protect it from the rain. Three hearts covered what used to be signs that I assume told one about the area. An overgrown path split off to the left, leading into the unknown, at least for me. I was searching for a cottage that was (somewhat) hidden near the University of Florida Campus. Rumors of fairytale gardens had caught my ear and led me here. I wondered if I was in the right place until I noticed a small post with “Litchgate” painted on the side. upon that discovery, I headed down the path, into this live fantasy.
After a short walk, the trees opened up to a clearing occupied by an ancient live oak. This behemoth reached out around it, its branches sprawling across the lawn, inviting me to lay down in its shade and get lost in a book for hours. A small cottage which looked like it came straight out of Hansel and Gretel was nearby, but this oak was much more inviting. A small path broke off to the side leading to a little labyrinth, nothing big enough to get lost in but fun in its own right. I could imagine what the area would look like in springtime while the plants were in full bloom. I closed my eyes and took a big breath in, letting the sweet smell of the grass transport me into that fantasy.
Lichgate on Highroad was built by former Florida State professor Laura Jepsen. Way back in 1956, she found this oak tree while wandering near the campus and was transported into her dreams just like I was. She knew there was something special here, if not what that exactly was, and promptly bought the property wanting to preserve it for others. I’m sure glad she did. Named after the gates that separate the graveyard from the Church in England she thought of it as a place where one could travel back and forth between the land of the living and the land of the dead. The property was almost lost upon her death. Fortunately, it was bought by a group of her friends and now is open to the public to enjoy just as she did.
Closest Supercharger Tallahassee FL 7.2 mi
3528 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32308
Litchgate on Highroad
1401 High Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32304