By Kevin Mims

Lately, I've had this thing where I've sought out the largest trees in Florida's national forests. Ever since the loss of 'The Senator' in Longwood, I've kind of been on a mission to see champion and interesting species of all types – majestic Live Oaks, ancient Bald Cypresses, the 'Z Tree' (a z-shaped Dwarf Cypress) – you name it. As I visit them, I'll be sure to create a blog post for each, in case you can't make it out to see these beauties in person.

That leads us to the Goethe Giant, a massive Bald Cypress in Levy County's Goethe State Forest. It's not hard to find, but you will have to travel down a long forest road and battle mosquitoes on the Big Cypress Boardwalk Trail. Don't worry, it's not a long walk, and is well worth the effort.

The Goethe Giant is over 900 years old, and is 105 feet tall. Luckily, this tree escaped the blades of loggers back in the 1930's. Today, it's preserved in the Goethe State Forest as an example of just how large these trees can get if left standing. Do visit if you have the chance.

Until then, here's a panorama of the Goethe Giant. It's a little wonky, but you get the idea. Scrolling around, you may see a couple of other Bald Cypresses that are pretty large, too.


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