This past Sunday my family and I decided to take a drive over to Longwood, FL (about 12 miles North of Orlando). As a SAHM we have to really watch our spending, so on the weekends we try to do anything that is cheap or FREE as a family. I stumbled upon this website called Mr. Free Stuff and a list of 40 cheap or free things to do near Orlando came up. How fun would it be to say you did all 40! (I think that may be the teacher in me…) #momsteachtoo. The one that caught my eye was walking the Big Tree Park. So the Florida Morehouse Family (that’s us!) took a drive that way and explored the Big Tree Park. Below you will find my review of the place, along with some pictures and information.
Before I share my review check out these sites!
If you love the outdoors and exploring make sure to visit Florida Hikes, along with Hike It Baby (nation wide site) both are great sites that encourage you and your family to get out and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. If you don’t live near Orlando area visit American Trails that will direct you to hiking trails within your area.
Okay back to the review…let me take you on the boardwalk of Big Tree Park
Big Tree Park is located in Longwood, FL and displays ancient cypress trees. The boardwalk is built on top of a hydric hammock swamp, which mainly means it grows on poorly drained soil. This boardwalk leads to “The Senator” , which was (I’ll go in more detail about this further down) known to be one of the biggest and oldest tree in America. As you walk further down the boardwalk it also has a sister tree called “Lady Liberty”. This walk is approximately .3 miles long. Peferct to bring your little ones, but more importantly tons of SHADE!
As you walk on the boardwalk your able to stop along and read about the growth history of “The Senator” tree. There are even marks placed on the boardwalk that take you through the timeline of the tree.
As you make it over to the “Big Tree/The Senator” you will find that it was burned down due to vandalisim. So sad! I can’t believe the amount of history this tree held and it was taken away within minutes. Though, I love that Seminole County still honors the meaning of the tree and displays its ruins for the public to view. Click on how the tree was destroyed to view a video and learn more about. I’ll give you just a few facts about “The Senetor” so that way I don’t give away all the information if you end up visiting. This tree was over 3,500 years old, that’s BC time! Crazy, I know! It grew to be 165 feet tall, but due to a hurricane the top of the tree was destroyed so it brought the height downt 118 feet. If you want to learn even more visit this atlas and it will provide more in depth information.
The boardwalk ends at the sister tree “Lady Liberty” this tree is still standing and as you can read it’s 89 feet tall and about 2,000 years old. There are two benches at this spot where you can stop and have a snack and take in the view. (Johnny, my 7 month old son decided he really needed one!)
I hope you are able to take a trip to Big Tree Park one day. One great perk is that it’s not an all day event, so perfect for kids. There is even a really nice park where your kids can play at. PLUS my husband said it’s a great spot to play Pokemon Go (FYI-the “Senator Tree” is actually a Pokemon gym) This is a great incentive for your husband or older kids! 😉