Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Congaree National Park is a 22,000 acre park located in Richland County, South Carolina. It was first recognized as a national park in 2003. The Congaree River runs through it, and the area is best-known as a sanctuary for local animal life. However, nature-lovers flock to the park each year to enjoy the myriad activities that Congaree has to offer.

Some visitors travel to Congaree to view its bird and animal species. Just of a few of its native animals include:
–bobcats
–turkeys
–turtles
–snakes
–alligators
–catfish
–largemouth bass
–coyotes
–pike

Nature and Terrain
The thing that distinguishes Congaree National Park is its beautiful, unique landscape. The landscape is most often described as a floodplain or a bottomland area. The tall trees create a large canopy, and many of them are recognized as some of the tallest trees in the state. Bald cypress, water tupelo and upland pine are some of the most common types of trees located in the park. Congaree is composed of forested wetlands, lakes, and creeks.

Popular Activities
The park offers free canoe rides through the swampy marsh on most Saturdays and Sundays. Canoe rides are a good way for visitors to familiarize themselves with the biome.

Most of the park is wilderness; many guests use a canoe for transportation and sightseeing. Canoe operators should bring their own canoe as well as flotation equipment. There are canoes for rent in nearby Columbia. Those who desire to go canoeing or kayaking should check with staff employees first. The park staff informs visitors about the water level. They can also provide precautionary advice about flooding and abnormally low water levels.

Congaree allows visitors to camp in designated campsites. Campers set up their camps backcountry-style in the park’s wilderness. Campers should go to the visitor’s center upon arrival so that they can receive a permit. The staff will advise campers about the current weather conditions and any necessary information related to the trails and the wilderness. Campers may also choose to hike through the twenty miles of designated hiking trails in the area. Most trails are marked, and they are easy to follow.

Those who possess a fishing license are allowed to fish in the park. They may fish in all designated areas, except Weston Lake. They fish for bass, pike, and catfish. Visitors are advised to access the fishing areas via the service road instead of the boardwalk. Fisherman should not use boats with inboard or outboard motors. The park also has special regulations pertaining to the type bait and fishing equipment allowed. Guests should check with staff at the visitor’s center before they begin fishing.

The Boardwalk Loop is one of the most popular spots in the park. It is a walkway that leads through the swampy marsh. The boardwalk is elevated and allows visitors to sightsee as they stroll along.