Big Tree Walk, 2005

Carol Kososki and John Cely
Photographs by Joe Kegley

On Saturday, September 24, 2005, an eager group from Friends of Congaree Swamp were inspired by the gigantic old-growth cypress trees of Congaree National Park on an outing led by John Cely. Because of the remote location of the trees, two boats were used to transport the visitors along the Congaree River to a jumping off point on the eastern end of the Park. From there, the group walked to an area featuring old-growth bald cypress varying from 16-26 feet in circumference. Another short ride upriver took us to the State champion cypress: 26.5 feet in circumference and 132 feet tall. This tree could easily be 1000 years old if not older. A group of seven members joined hands to circle the tree and honor its majesty.

It takes seven people to reach around this state champion cypress: 131 ft tall and 26.5 ft in circumference.

This hollow tree is 26 ft around. It is impressive because it doesn't have much of a buttress and comes straight up out of the ground. Much of its top has been lost over the years, so it doesn't have championship status.

This tree, against which Carol Kososki and John Cely are standing is "merely" a big cypress and "only" 23 ft around.

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Last modified: May 11, 2008 by Edward Kujawski (
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