Trees of Lake Griffin

Mammoth Live Oak at Lake Griffin

Not only does Lake Griffin have the state’s second largest live oak tree but it also has many other trees that are just as awe-inspiring!

Thinking Tree Lake Griffin
Thinking Tree

The Thinking Tree

Take a stroll on the Cinnamon Fern trail to reach the first of these magnificent trees. Just past the campground, you’ll see a wide area with generous seating under the shade of another majestic oak that we call the Thinking Tree.

Here you can relax amid the sounds of wildlife and read the favorite nature-inspired quotes of park staff on signs that lead you around the tree.

As you sit on the bench or walk around the tree reading the quotes, take a moment to listen for the birds that might be around in the surrounding branches of this majestic looking tree. 

If you are interested in birding, make sure to bring binoculars to see what could be flying around this grand tree. 

Bear scratch on slash pine at Lake Griffin
Bear scratch on slash pine at Lake Griffin

The Bear Tree

Continue north on the Cinnamon Fern trail and pause just before the start of the boardwalk to see the towering Bear Tree.

The Bear Tree is a large slash pine that’s frequently marked by one of the park’s common visitors, the Florida black bear.

Bears will rake their claws down the trees to mark the trees. The markings can be territorial or directional, just like you’d read a street sign.

Don’t worry though, it doesn’t hurt the tree at all.

As you visit the Bear Tree take a moment to take in the impressive size of this pine tree. It definitely stands out on this trail! 

Spur Trail Live Oak

Ask you walk towards the Spur Trail you will find this quirky 200-year-old live oak.

This live oak is growing under a heavily shaded canopy, therefore, it does not grow as fast as other oaks do.

It is likely that it was slightly uprooted by a hurricane or other storms decades ago and survived, just sending down more feeder roots to stabilize itself.

Live oaks are known to be resilient and very hardy. The fact that this live oak on the Spur Trail is still thriving is a testament to that.

This picturesque live oak has branches that are covered with resurrection ferns, which come back to life in a vibrant green color after a bit of rain. Live oaks provide protection, nesting sites and food sources for many species of plants and animals such as the resurrection fern. 


Spur Trail Leaned Live Oak
Spur Trail Live Oak - What you don’t see in the photo is its massive base! 

The Mammoth Live Oak

Visit the iconic mammoth live oak tree found here at Lake Griffin. This grand live oak is the second largest oak tree in the state and is estimated to be between 300 to 500 years old. Its branches have cast shadows for centuries and may have even been a landmark for the Timucua who frequented this area.

Stop by Lake Griffin State Park and check out the impressive mammoth live oak, one of the largest remaining live oaks in the South, a testament to ...the Real Florida.

Mammoth Live Oak Lake Griffin
Mammoth Live Oak

There are of plenty of other great trees at Lake Griffin State Park, including bay trees and magnolia. We’d love to have you come to explore and visit them all.