Giant Oak Park – Peoria, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

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Giant Oak Park

A massive bur oak tree believed to be some 500 years old is the centerpiece of this quiet urban greenspace. 


Just seven years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the Sentinel on the Bluff took root high above the wide, fertile Illinois River valley. But it wasn’t until early explorers visited the region in the mid-to-late 1600s that Europeans knew of the existence of the tree; which was recorded in an early survey in the 1700s.

Fast forward to the 1960s, when the Peoria Park District purchased the property and its arboreal resident and established Giant Oak Park. For having lived during the American Revolution, the tree was designated a Bicentennial Tree in 1976 by the International Society of Arboriculture and the National Arborist Association.

When it was measured in 1994, it stood 50 feet high, had a 110-foot spread, and a 54.5-inch trunk diameter. Benches and tables dot the park it towers within. When foliage is gone in fall, the park commands a beautiful view across central Peoria to the Illinois River. 

Know Before You Go

The park is located a block off of Main Street, turn at the old church on the corner of Main and West High.

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September 18, 2019

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