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Congaree National Park Reviews
This is worth a short visit if you are in the area. As far as national parks, it is one of the more marginal ones. But, this is still an interesting park to spend some time at. I would recommend check... more »
The Volunteer at the Visitor Center was great as were the displays, but the 2.4 mile Boardwalk Trail was awesome - dog friendly and accessible. Know for some of worlds tallest trees, I highly recommen... more »
The visitor center was helpful in finding a nice walking area. They have a nice movie about the park. There is an easy boardwalk behind the visitor center that can be walked after the visitor center c... more »
Great park suitable for all levels of hikers. It's filled with beautiful, unique trees and nice trails. People in the visitors center are friendly and helpful as well. Just make sure to check the weather and bring suitable shoes if it's been raining; otherwise, most forms of shoes will work.
The place is tranquil and full of interesting natural wonder. The trees are lovely, and it's just the beginning of the new growth season. The Cypress gnomes were cool. We saw a gorgeous butterfly, a monarch?, but white with dark blue/black stripes. Great time.
This particular park is not high on the visitation rankings, despite being on the outskirts of Columbia, SC. It isn't among the popular parks as far as size or grand geological features as well. That being said, I personally got a lot out of this park and enjoyed the swath of designated wilderness floodplain forest. As I understand it, they make the distinction between this occasionally flooded region (floodplain forest) and a more permanently flooded swamp, but for the sake of a mental picture, envision your visit here as entering a spooky swamp forest. I think our particular timing for a visit to Congaree NP fortunately turned out to be very spot on. In late February, the "Mosquito Meter" at the visitor center was at a 1 (All Clear) out of 6 (War Zone). I can only imagine battling a War Zone. Also, winter time can tend to produce some excess flooding that will cover the dirt trails and possibly some of the boardwalk loop. We were fortunate to observe some pockets of swampy terrain, but the dirt trails were by and large clear and dry. I talked a bit with the staff at the visitor center while obtaining a backcountry camping permit, and they seemed to give an impression that some visitors will take the park too lightly and venture out past the boardwalk into the dirt trails unprepared. While I would highly recommend an overnight stay in this spooky wilderness forest, I would also warn to be prepared and have at least some experience in navigating and finding paths. The park does a great job though in providing a lot of markers along the trails, especially important in a situation where overnight flooding might obscure parts of a trail. There are a few options for some pretty big adventures in the park. I took the standard backpacking option, and obtained a permit to camp off one of the ridge trails. The staff and rangers will assist in choosing a good spot. I could also see the Cedar Creek canoe trip through the heart of the forest to be a real treat, and I would love to try that some day if ever back in the area. Still, a half-day quiet stroll along the boardwalk loop closer to the visitor center will still yield some relaxing visuals and some fun wildlife viewing along the way. The smaller size of the park and some of the features that limit visitation capability (flooding) knock this park down a star for me, but I still find this to be a strong park. Especially keep in mind when visiting here how rare this large tract of forest is within the USA. Just be sure to face whatever adversity this forest may present you with a bit of determination and patience, and a great time can be had.
Really Cool National Park. Smaller than others but they do have nice hiking trails. The trees around are way cool. They have a nice welcome center and there were a lot more people than I thought which was nice. A little gem in SC.
What a beautiful place and much better than we anticipated. There is no entrance fee and it is a very small National Park but we really enjoyed the 5-mile walk/ hike that we did. We went in late March and the weather was beautiful.
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