During the late 1700s the park was a sugar cane plantation owned by Jean Étienne de Boré who successfully processed the first granulated sugar in North America. The land, purchased by the city in 1871, became the site of a World’s Fair and the World Cotton Centennial of 1884. Today it features a golf course, zoo, swimming pool, ball fields, and walking trails. The main trail is a 1.7 mile loop that circles the golf course.
The trail which was a park road at one time, is wide and smooth with lines to separate walkers and joggers from bikers and skaters. It’s shaded by large live oaks. Some are survivors from the ones that lined the entry roads to the plantation. The trail passes by a pond with a small island that is a rookery for many species of birds. It also a seasonal home for hundreds of black-bellied whistling ducks.