02 November 2018

Thomasville’s ‘Big Oak’ is something to behold

A weekend at Rio Piedra Plantation doesn’t have to be just about great Georgia quail hunting. If you’re looking to get a little more familiar with the uniqueness of Southwest Georgia, we encourage guests to head south to Thomasville, GA, about an hour from Rio Piedra Plantation.

To get you acquainted with the area, our first blogs will be a series of stops you can make in this historic town. Check back with us as we bring some of the best Thomasville has to offer.

Stop 1: The Big Oak

Drive around Thomasville before or after a day of quail hunting, and you’ll quickly come upon one of the largest living Southern oak trees east of the Mississippi. Stop, pull over, and grab your camera – this is one you won’t want to miss. The majestic Big Oak (as the locals call it), a live oak tree that dates back three centuries to around 1680, sits proudly in Elizabeth Poe Park at the corner of East Monroe and North Crawford Streets and is one of the many charming aspects not only of Thomasville but of Southwest Georgia.

The Big Oak is one of the oldest living oak trees in the country. By “live oak” we mean that it never loses its lush, green leaves. No matter the season, this beautiful tree beckons its visitors to slow down and enjoy the overhead blanket of long branches, full of foliage, that canvas the park. It is truly larger-than-life with a limb span of over 165 feet, a trunk circumference of just over 26.5 feet, and a height of 68 feet.

This beloved tree was one of the first to be registered by the Live Oak Society (1936) and has had countless visitors over the centuries. As you can imagine, the Big Oak is a popular place for many different social gatherings, including loads of weddings. It has also met many dignitaries, most notably President Dwight Eisenhower who famously had his picture snapped under it (long before the days of the “selfie”). You, too, can become a part of history under the Big Oak. The town of Thomasville has a live web camera set up where tree lovers can text, pose, and forever remember its grandness. All of the instructions for capturing the moment are at the Big Oak, but you can click here for the live camera feed to see the fun in real-time.

The town’s historic commission is quick to take care of its precious oak and has done an excellent job in preserving this Thomasville landmark over the years – the Big Oak even has its own “on call” tree surgeon! The love is paying off, and we know that this treasure will be enjoyed for generations to come.

The Big Oak is open year-round and is located at 124 E. Monroe St. Make it a part of your Southwest Georgia Quail Hunting Bucket List.

Be sure to check back right here for our next stop around Thomasville. And if you’ve got any questions while you’re here about places to explore, feel free to ask one of our staff members or even your quail hunting guide. We’re all very passionate about our piece of the world and can’t wait to share it with you.