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Behold, The Champion Oak

A GEORGETOWN ORIGINAL … Every summer our founding editor Will Folks heads east to Pawleys Island, South Carolina with his growing brood for a few weeks of family vacation.  One of the most beautiful places in the Palmetto State – or the world, for that matter – Pawleys is nothing short…

A GEORGETOWN ORIGINAL …

Every summer our founding editor Will Folks heads east to Pawleys Island, South Carolina with his growing brood for a few weeks of family vacation.  One of the most beautiful places in the Palmetto State – or the world, for that matter – Pawleys is nothing short of addictive.

Once you arrive on the island it becomes nearly impossible to leave – your whole body submitting to the calming influences of soft sands, cool water, brisk breezes, and the rhythmic ebb and flow of the tide.

The only good reason to leave?  Finding a good seafood spot … or someplace to provide a bit of education/ entertainment for one’s children.

In the past our ventures from the Pawleys oceanfront compound involved trips north to the Myrtle Beach area – but lately things there have gotten a bit dicey.

Very dicey, in fact.

Accordingly, we’ve made it a point this year to refrain from crossing the Horry County line – confining our meandering to Georgetown County.

Safer, less crowded and more historic – Georgetown County offers better and cleaner beaches, superior dining options and a more authentic, educational experience for discerning visitors.

Georgetown is also home to the Champion Oak, a former award-winning live oak (Quercus virginiana) that was added to the American Forestry Association’s register of champion trees back in 1940.

At the time, the massive oak was 120 feet tall, boasted a 23-foot circumference and a 125-foot crown spread.

Located between 513 and 515 Prince Street in downtown Georgetown, the Champion Oak – like its more famous sister, the Angel Oak in Charleston – is estimated to be nearly 600 years old.

If you’re in Georgetown, be sure to check it out …

 

While you’re there, take some time to enjoy the town’s historic waterfront walk and Front Street shops.  And if you get hungry, we recommend the Seven Hundred Modern Grill + Bar for lunch and Big Tuna (a.k.a. the Old Fish House) or the River Room restaurant for dinner.

Looking for even bigger trees?  Check out the Congaree National Park just south of the state capital of Columbia.  This 26,000-acre forest features a 134-foot tall laurel oak and a 167-foot loblolly pine and a bald cypress with a 26-foot circumference.

We checked the park out a few years back and had a blast.

Few have joined us, though.

A total of 143,843 people visited the Congaree Forest last year – an all-time record.  Still, the park remains woefully underutilized.


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