Old Magnolia Road 1: Tallahassee Canopy Roads

Old Magnolia Road, one of the canopy roads in Tallahassee, at sunset in the early springtime. Old Magnolia Road is an unpaved road shaded by overreaching tree canopy.

© Scott Holstein – All rights reserved.

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Old Magnolia Road, One of the Tallahassee Canopy Roads

Old Magnolia Road is one of the Tallahassee canopy roads. It is a lightly-traveled road that runs north-south on the west side of Lake Miccosukee (to the east of Tallahassee proper) and connects Mahan Drive/Highway 90 on the south end to T S Green Road/Highway 142 on the north end.

Parts of Old Magnolia Road are paved and parts remain unpaved, red clay road. The unpaved sections of the Tallahassee canopy road are etched down into the Red Hills clay, leaving, in some places, high banks of exposed clay, roots, and foliage.

Old Magnolia Road was a route for plantations in the area to transport their cotton to market and may have originally been a Native American footpath, as many roads in the area once were.

Miccosukee, Florida – Former Capital of the State of Muskogee

The north end of Old Magnolia Road passes near Miccosukee, Florida. Miccosukee is a historical community that was once a major center of the Miccosukee tribe of Native Americans (part of the Seminole nation). At one time, it was the capital of the short-lived State of Muskogee.

The Making of the Old Magnolia Road 1 Image

I had been in this area of Old Magnolia Road recently as it is near the Dueling Oak, which I had also been photographing. I oftentimes like to photograph landscapes in soft, even lighting. However, golden hour also provides an interesting look that works nicely for some locations.

Golden hour is early or late in the day, when the sun is lower towards the horizon and casts long shadows and warm, gold-colored light. It last roughly an hour at either end of a day, hence the name.

On this particular day, I saw that it was shaping up to be a clear-sky evening so I raced out to the pre-scouted location on one of the Tallahassee canopy roads for a chance to photograph it in the golden hour light. I arrived at the location, prepared the camera and the tripod in the middle of the road, worked out my composition, and began photographing the landscape of the canopy road before me.

In the scene, the sun’s golden rays stream in from the side, giving high contrast, warm light to the view down Old Magnolia Road. The gold light complements the yellows and greens of early spring in Tallahassee, Florida. Tall, clay banks flank the unpaved road as Spanish moss hangs down from the archway of branches above. The inviting canopy road continues straight before cresting a knoll and disappearing in the distance.

After I had taken just a few photographs, cloud cover suddenly appeared on the horizon, blocking the setting sun and cutting golden hour short. The light was gone.