Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Whooping Cranes and The Big Tree on Texas Gulf Coast

By Julianne G. Crane
While I have seen “bigger” trees, this Coastal Live Oak is pretty darn impressive. It is estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, with a circumference of 35 feet and a crown spread of 90 feet. It stands about 44 feet tall.

RV Jimmy Smith on bicycle, by Texas’ Big Tree. (Julianne G. Crane)

Known locally as “The Big Tree,” it is part of Goose Island State Park in Lamar, Texas, a few miles northeast of Fulton / Rockport on the Texas Gulf Coast.This tree was named the State Champion Coastal Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) in 1969, and is one of the largest in the nation.Each winter we spend time on the Gulf Coast, we visit the tree as part of bicycling around Goose Island State Park.

On thee different bicycle excursions over the years, Jimmy and I have seen the endangered whooping cranes feeding on berries and blue crabs found in the coastal wetlands around Goose Island State Park.

It is said other local wildlife include white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, foxes, squirrels, cottontail rabbits and more than 300 varieties of birds.

About 10 miles northeast of Fulton/Rockport on Highway 35. Just north of the Copano Bay bridge, turn east to Goose Bay State Park. The first right will be Park Road 13. This connects with Lamar Beach Road that takes you to the tree. Depending on the time of day or the season, you may encounter deer on the narrow, densely shaded and flowered road.

Julianne G. Crane
For more RV lifestyle articles by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com. 

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Cranehttp://www.RVWheelLife.com
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel Life.com. She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”



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