New Orleans City Park
Did you know that City Park in New Orleans is home to the largest stand of mature live oaks, not just in the country, but in the world? Dripping with ghostly looking spanish moss, they are a beautiful sight to see when you are driving or walking through the over 1,300 acres that make up City Park.
With branches that soar into the sky and reach out to touch the ground (just begging to be climbed on), some of the oak trees in City Park are over 600 years old. They have survived numerous hurricanes and the tendency of man to clear a path for progress. They sheltered the original Native American inhabitants that lived along the banks of Bayou St. John. They were witness to many duels of honor right into the 1800’s. These live oaks were watching over the bayous and swamps long before the French and Spanish showed up to settle the area.
From the City Park website:
City Park’s oldest and largest live oaks are located along the vestiges of old Bayou Metairie, a remnant of an ancient distributary of the Mississippi River. The McDonogh estimated at 600 years old, Dueling and Suicide Oaks are among the remnants of this ancient forest that started long before Iberville and Bienville first scouted the area for a site to build the city and port that became New Orleans.
Driving through City Park on a weekday (especially during the school year), you can always find an unoccupied place to stake a claim under one of these magnificent trees. Spread a blanket, sit back, relax and let history wash over you.