I felt the same way until I was introduced to a quiet, almost magical haven hidden in plain sight in the heart of college town. Less than a mile down High Rd just off Tennessee street, there hides a small parking lot tucked between a Winn Dixie and a church.
You wouldn’t know it was there if you didn’t know to look for it. Park and then walk down a winding wooded path to one of the most beautiful sights in all of Tallahassee (heck – in all of Florida!).
It quite literally takes your breath away. The sight before you is none other than the Lichgate Oak.
With all the hustle and bustle of a growing city around you, buildings going up on every corner, road construction and people rushing everywhere, it truly feels like time has stood still in this hidden property before the majestic and mighty tree.
Beyond the centuries old tree, stands a quaint Tudor cottage that belonged to the property’s owner, Dr. Laura Jepsen.
Dr. Jepsen was an English Professor at FSU from 1946-1978. When she decided to make Tallahassee a permanent stay, she searched for just the right land to build her life. Instantly, she fell in love with the Lichgate Oak claiming it was “a tree to inspire poets.”
She registered the Lichgate Oak with the Tallahassee Live Oak Society for a fee of 25 acorns a year, in hopes to keep it protected for years to come. Upon Dr. Jepsen’s passing in 1995, The Nature Conservancy took on protection and maintenance of the property and the cottage.
The land is now home to a small coop garden, and the cottage and the property are frequently rented out for weddings and gatherings. The Lichgate Oak is open daily to the public to walk the grounds and gaze at the sprawling branches.
If you are trying to find a unique place to hold your wedding, I highly suggest visiting the Lichgate Oak – it is truly one of the most magical locations in all of Tallahassee.