Just a few miles north of the Hudson Valley, there's a tree like no other. Not only is it the largest tree in New York state, but it could possibly be the largest of its kind in the entire world.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but New York has several similar claims to fame. From the world's largest lawn gnome to the most Christmas lights to decorate a house, there are more than a few records in the state. But what about the largest tree?

New York State's largest tree is located just miles north of the Hudson Valley, NY
New York State's largest tree is located just miles north of the Hudson Valley, NY (Ancient Forests & Champion Trees via Facebook)

New York's Biggest Tree Is in Rensselaer County, NY

The giant in question, an eastern cottonwood located in Rensselaer County, NY, was only recently recognized for its size. Arborist and self-proclaimed "big tree hunter" Fred Breglia made the discovery with his wife in 2022. Not only is the tree estimated to be older than any other eastern cottonwood, but its massive circumference (video below) has to be seen to be believed.

Is This Eastern Cottonwood in New York the Biggest in the World?

Not only is the tree now officially recognized as the largest of its kind in the state by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), but its tremendous size (and age) means that it could the biggest in the world... but is it really?

Is the Eastern Cottonwood in Schaghticoke, NY the Largest In the World?

Despite Breglia's hopes of a national (and even global) record, it seems like two other examples of the tree may have the specimen in Rensselaer County, NY beat. American Forest's Official Register of Champion Trees lists two other eastern cottonwoods as larger, though in 2024, a re-measure may be in order.

Read More: 8 Amazing Guinness World Records Set in the Hudson Valley

Current Record Holder for Biggest Eastern Cottonwood

The two eastern cottonwoods, which are currently heralded as co-champions in the United States, haven't been revisited in years, meaning that their record-holding status may be in jeopardy. If severe weather, for example, has ruined their branches, New York's tree may move into the top spot. As of publishing, the Official Register of Champion Trees hadn't been updated since 2021.

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For curious New Yorkers who want to combine the fascinating attractions of New York with the state's natural beauty, a road trip may be in order. Check out some of the wildest roadside attractions below, and keep scrolling to plan your route on the New York Ice Cream Trail.

WOW! Did You Know This? 18 Unusual 'Must Sees' on An Upstate New York Road Trip

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

Road Trip Through New York's Ice Cream Trail

Did you know there's an ice cream trail here in the great state of New York? Yup. Created by Only In Your State, the trail takes you all throughout the Adirondacks, allowing you to "take in the sights of our tallest mountains and some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of New York" while licking your favorite kind of ice cream.

Hop aboard the New York Ice Cream Trail!

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

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