This park is a step back into time. You will see natural vegetation and marsh lands as you make your way on the boardwalk to "The Senator", the park's main attraction, a 3,500 year old Bald Cypress. This property was donated to Seminole County by Senator M.O. Overstreet and dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929.
The Senator is the largest Bald Cypress tree in the United States, located in Big Tree Park, Longwood, Florida. It is 125 feet (38 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of 17.5 feet (5.3 m). Update from 2014: The tree was burned down. Here is the news report: Model burned down 3,500 year-old 'Senator' tree while high on meth avoids jail time | Mail Online http://buff.ly/Sq5X9r
The Seminole Indians and other Native American Indians who lived throughout Central Florida used this tree as a landmark. In the late 19th century, the tree attracted visitors even though much of the surrounding land was swamp; reaching the tree was done by leaping from log to log.
In 1925, a hurricane destroyed the top of the tree, reducing its original height of 165 feet (50 m) to its present height of 38 meters. The Senator is named for Senator M.O. Overstreet, who donated the tree and surrounding land to Seminole County for a park in 1927.
The Senator is estimated to be 3,400-3,500 years old, the 5th oldest tree in the world. The Senator not only the largest Bald Cypress in the United States, but also the largest tree of any species east of the Mississippi River.
Located 40 feet (12 m) from The Senator is another old cypress in the same Big Tree Park named Lady Liberty. It is 89 feet (27 m) high 10 feet (3.0 m) in diameter, and is estimated to be 2000 years old and another of the oldest trees in the world.
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Free Things to Do in Orlando:
- Big Tree Park
- Disney's Boardwalk
- Downtown Disney Marketplace
- Lake Eola Park, located in the heart of the city - a small park
- University of Central Florida Arboretum
Free Things to Do in Orlando. National Geographic.