Many might associate Louisiana with swamps and think that it stops there as far as noteworthy nature spots go. Those people would happily be proved wrong, thanks to a wildlife refuge near Baton Rouge and many others like it. This particular wildlife refuge stands out from the others, though, because it is home to the record-breaking 1,500-year-old-tree that sits within it. 

The "National Champion" bald cypress tree lives on the grounds of Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. The title was awarded to the cypress by the National Register of Champion Trees whose job is to comprise a list of the largest tree specimens found in the United States.

Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to swampland, but there's clearly much more to the refuge than that alone.

Thanks to nearly 3,000 acres of cypress-tupelo swamp habitat, bald cypress, and water tupelo trees thrive in this environment, resulting in some living hundreds and hundreds of years.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, "Because these trees are found in low-lying areas, many of these sites have not been harvested for timber, allowing many of the cypress trees to become large."

Hopefully, it remains this way for many years to come!

For those wondering exactly how to find it in the refuge, you'll want to follow Big Cypress Trail to the massive trunk.

While exploring the grounds of Cat Island, you'll likely be greeted by a variety of wildlife. Birds, deer, ducks, and more call Cat Island their home year-round.

Nope, no cats!

For directions on how to get to the refuge, and tips on how to spend your time while there, you can visit their website here.

Who else was looking for an excuse to go exploring?

Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge

Price: Free

Address: St. Francisville, LA

Why You Need To Go: You have to see the tree in person to witness just how massive it is.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Log Out