A champion towers over a small, unassuming park on North Front Street in Dardanelle, Arkansas. With a circumference of 255 inches, this white oak has been designated the champion, the biggest of its kind in Arkansas.
At an estimated 400-500 years of age, it has stood the test of time, and is thought to have a significant place in the history of Yell County. In 1823, underneath this beauty, the Treaty of Council Oaks was signed, an agreement between local and Cherokee leaders in which Arkansas attained all Cherokee land south of the Arkansas River.
It is proudly perched near a hillside that overlooks the Arkansas River; a pleasant source of both beauty and shade on those balmy summer days! The park is miniscule; the only playground equipment available is a small set of swings. I’m sure that Dardanelle leadership planned it that way, hoping that all who visit will keep their attention focused where it should be: on an Arkansas Champion.