The Genius Preserve is a slice of historic old school Florida, located on the eastern shore of Lake Virginia from Rollins College.

Owned and maintained by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation of Winter Park (Website), the property has been closed to the public for years; ever since someone killed one of the resident peacocks with a crossbow.

Yet despite the shutdown, the property has been opening their doors for spectators once a year for the annual Run for the Trees event.

The Run for the Trees Jeannette Genius McKean Memorial 5K will take place on Saturday, April 27 between the hours of 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. The fun starts at Ward Park but the last mile of the race will take runners along the beautifully canopied dirt roads of the preserve.

It costs $33-40 to run and all funds raised from the event will support the Winter Park Tree Replacement Fund and every runner that finishes will receive a tree sapling and a commemorative t-shirt.

Runners will be shuttled back to Showalter Field by bus.

Click HERE for more information.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

Join the Conversation


Have something to say? Type it below. Holding back can give you pimples.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Loved visiting after church as child for the peacocks, squirrels, and beautiful blooming azaleas ๐ŸŒบ! Too bad that canโ€™t reopen to public like Leu Gardens as itโ€™s a beautiful space and have docents who can monitor visitors.

  2. Hate to say this as we’ve frequented it since moving to College Park 6+ years ago, but Ks isn’t what it used to be. Initially there seemed to be little change when ownership changed, but now….had a very mediocre meal for a special occasion last week. Deviled eggs on appetizer plate were tasteless, $50 filet entree had only a few fingerling potatoes and blistered baby tomatoes as accompaniment. Blueberry dessert was gritty and had odd tasting flavor. Such a shame that won’t be our venue of choice for special occasions any more

  3. Great story Brendan,i always wondered why it was closed to the public, looking forward to running this one, this weekend. Any idea in what year the road was closed to the public?