These champions are big, they're old, and they're BEAUTIFUL.
Did you love playing around trees when you were a kid? Growing up, trees were my forts, my jungle gyms, and some of them even grew to feel like good old, solid friends. Climbing up into the branches of an aerie lookout or burrowing past the ground-sweeping boughs of a big old pine (my Ali Baba's Cave), there were always interesting possibilities with a tree around. The first time I saw the towering and majestic, ancient Redwoods out on the West Coast, I was struck with awe and admiration. That's when it dawned on me as an adult, the fact that big old trees are special.
Those of us living in Richland County, South Carolina, who can appreciate a Good Tree (or two), we are in luck (and in gratitude to those who fought to save an old growth forest).
Just down the road and around the corner we have a national gem, Richland County's very own Congaree National Park. This particular national park - OUR National Park boasts the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest surviving in the southeast region of the United States. Within this expanse are at least 25 individual trees which are the largest of their species found in the whole of the United States. This is the largest concentration of Champion Trees in all of North America.
I challenge you to visit the trees of Congaree National Park and NOT feel the peace, the awe, and the gratitude that beholding such majestic beauty brings about. Thumb through a book, watch a video, plan a short day trip. Or just jump in the car and head on down the road to the national gem in your own backyard. Take a quietting walk among the majestic giants. I think you'll like it.