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Coldwater Gardens

Escape Back Into Nature

Imagine if you will, for a few moments, while I take you on a journey. 

The souls inarticulate moaning to retreat, recharge, and recoup in nature. To lie among a blanket, looking up at the sky (day or night) and watching the clouds and stars above. To see and hear nothing but the sounds of natural earth around you, in all its glory. Cicada and cricket alike, bull frogs and butterflies, the calling of the lonesome dove searching for its mate, the sound of a woodpecker tapping into a tree, the howl of a wolf, the sound of a creek rumbling nearby, the smell of earth, water, fire, and sky surrounding you. 

The South seldom gets credit for creating spaces that are built with nature and our natural habitat in mind. Coldwater Gardens, located in Milton, FL is one of those rare finds that hands down wins the eco-friendly award. With 7 miles and 385 acres of natural habitat, pine forests, and a low-land cypress swamp that is adjacent to Coldwater Creek; this one-of-a-kind treasure is easily accessible for a day or weekend trip. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Kristen Melancon of Coldwater Gardens. With her infectious laughter and sweet smile, you can tell that she more than loves her work. She is the epitome of sweetness and southern charm as she says "Hey, y'all come on in." Kristen never meets a stranger. She says "I'm a hugger, not a hand shaker," as she reaches out to hug us. "Truer words have not been spoken," I thought. 

Talking with Kristen and touring Coldwater Gardens felt as though I'd stumbled back into my long-since-forgotten childhood. Ah, the memories of my own tree houses and tents. Although, Coldwater Gardens has taken the concept of living abundantly with nature to a whole new level. They offer their guests Treehouses, Canopy Cottages, Glamping Tents, Tiny Houses, Cottages, and even a Cabana! This eco-friendly resort has been built with nature in mind. "We consider it a two-fold restoration: we offer our guests a place to relax mind & body while we work to conserve biodiversity & habitat. What the land gives us, we try and give back equally. It's a forever-long process & we believe it is valuable & meaningful work."

Travelers come from all over to experience nature at Coldwater Gardens. "We've had people from all over come to see us," Kristen said. "Sometimes they come from places as far off as Canada or Germany and sometimes they come from as close as just up the road." Coldwater Gardens isn't just for camping, it also offers its guests venue spaces for workshops and events such as weddings. They offer day passes for those who would like to come and simply experience the surroundings for a short time. 

With hiking and biking readily available, they also boast 4 sandbars along Coldwater Creek so that guests can enjoy cooling off after a long hot summer day, kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding. The mainland is filled with two main greenhouses, a main event space, playground, butterfly garden, and a petting area for their farm animals. 

Walking through the check-in and welcome station you can find a variety of local honey, pottery, t-shirts, soaps, and other misc items that one would find lovely while visiting. Walking through their greenhouse you'll find a wide variety of plants and succulents that are stunning to view. With two koi ponds located within the greenhouse you can watch the fish come up to greet you, walking between the greenhouses you're greeted by the farm animals who are always happy to see new faces. Peacocks and goats freely roam, chickens scratching for their next meal, and reminding us what it's like to truly be a "free range" chicken. 

"We want people to come and have a good time here," Kristen says. "This place is so beautiful and it's really amazing what people can do when they work together and put their minds to do something. We all pitch in and help where it's needed. Because of that, this place works. It's something we want local people to know about and love as much as we do." 

Coldwater Gardens can be found by visiting their website 

Consider checking out our friends and tell them that Lillian & Ashley sent you. You'll be glad you did. 

Coldwater Gardens is an eco-friendly resort located in Milton, FL. It offers its guests day passes as well as reservations for camping and events. Hiking, camping, swimming, photography, wildlife, picnics, and more are available. For more information please visit their website 

"We consider it two-fold restoration: we offer our guests a place to relax mind & body while we work to conserve biodiversity & habitat. What the land gives us, we try to give back equally. It is a forever-long process & we believe it is valuable & meaningful work."

  • Kristen Melancon of Coldwater Gardens