Focused on Mississippi: Bald Cypress trees at Sky Lake

Living Local

HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – One of my Facebook friends asked me about the big tree at Sky Lake near Belzoni. The first time I saw the big tree, I was riding on a four-wheeler with Mark Simmons, who owned the land at that time. Our quest was to go see the biggest bald cypress in Mississippi, which would make it in all probability the biggest tree in the state.

There is a big one at Cat Island, Louisiana, but it is actually two trees that have grown together. This one, and another giant hollow tree at Sky Lake, stand alone. This whole swamp was logged back in the 1930s, but these two big trees still stand here because they have defects.

One had the top taken out of it about 50 feet above the ground by an ancient Delta tornado, no doubt. And the other one, which actually is the bigger of the two, is hollow. So, neither had enough board feet left to fool with. So the trees weren’t harvested and still stand as testament to what the Delta would have looked like a thousand years ago.

Most of the time, these lakes stay brim full of water because of all the rain that falls here. But now and again, there is enough of a drought that you can walk out to the big trees in Sky Lake.

Nowadays, you can walk out to the big trees even during high water. The state has made a park out of Sky Lake and built a boardwalk about 1,700 feet out into the swamp, passing both of the big trees in the process.

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