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Congaree National Park, Hopkins

4.5
Must see · National Park · Nature / Park
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Congaree National Park is a 26,692.6-acre (41.7 sq mi; 108.0 km2) American national park in central South Carolina, 18 miles southeast of the state capital, Columbia. The park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. The lush trees growing in its floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the eastern United States, forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park. About 15,000 acres (23.4 sq mi; 60.7 km2) are designated as a wilderness area.

The park received its official designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign that began in 1969. With 145,929 visitors in 2018, it ranks as the United States' 10th-least visited national park, just behind Nevada's Great Basin National Park.
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Congaree National Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
586 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is a low key national park, suited for hiking or kayaking. It has a very cool raised boardwalk walk through the fascinating lowlands with odd trees and other growth. Very cool to see if you are.....  more
    This is a low key national park, suited for hiking or kayaking. It has a very cool raised boardwalk walk through the fascinating lowlands with odd trees and other growth. Very cool to see if you are.....  more »
  • The boardwalk is pretty nice but it's very limiting as far as a National Park goes. We opted to book a kayak tour for a more immersive experience. We chose JK Adventure and they were great. It was... 
    The boardwalk is pretty nice but it's very limiting as far as a National Park goes. We opted to book a kayak tour for a more immersive experience. We chose JK Adventure and they were great. It was...  more »
  • Well maintained boardwalk thru the park. Plenty of seating areas if you want to rest. Really great Park Rangers. Very helpful and knowledgeable. 
    Well maintained boardwalk thru the park. Plenty of seating areas if you want to rest. Really great Park Rangers. Very helpful and knowledgeable.  more »
Google
  • A nice national park to go to. The board walk was definitely worth it with a nice raised path and information markers along the way. A good 2.5 mile hike and took about an hour. It is in a swampy area so depending on the time of year might be a little buggy and or muggy; so come prepared with water and bug repellent. But a very nice and easy walk with great information along the way and plenty of wildlife to observe!
  • I almost hesitate to review because we LOVED it so much and don't want it to become over crowded. This is one of our favorite hiking spots! The 2.6 Mile boardwalk was easily doable with me and my elementary aged kids. It feels like an adventure but also quite safe and clean. We also picnicked in one of the many, shady spots by the lodge. After lunch we were a bit more adventurous with off boardwalk trails. There are many and they're rated by difficulty with listed distances so you can easily determine what's the best fit for you/your group. The staff was AMAZING! We availed ourselves of the gift shop for a few items. We also picked up our junior ranger books, completed the activities during our adventures, and were then sworn in as junior rangers! Including me ☺️ We got beautiful Congaree ranger badges that absolutely thrilled them. We will return as soon as we are able! It is a little more than 2 hours each way for us and totally worth it!!
  • This park is an underrated gem and the floodplain forest is truly a treasure. I would highly recommend taking a guided kayak tour to really see the best of the park. The facilities at the visitor center are well-maintained and clean, the boardwalk loop is super cool and fun for all ages and skill levels. I gave 4 stars instead of 5 just to manage others' expectations. The park is relatively small, and there isn't a TON to do or a huge variety of views and landscapes. It's a floodplain forest through and through, you're not going to find any spectacular views or challenging mountaintop climbs here.
  • Beautiful park, no entrance fee. Right now the park is closing at 4pm. We had planned a 2 to 3 hour hike but the insects were relentless! We opted to do the boardwalk loop instead which was gorgeous! The Park Ranger at the visitor center was very helpful explaining the different hikes available and what to bring. It was busier than normal because of the holiday weekend but I would not say it was busy. We were alone most of the time. Saw some gators, turtles and snakes!
  • The park was so popular on the weekends, which included volunteers led programs. The ranger led programs are more concentrated during the peak season. The center was partially closed, mostly educational sections, however, they have a lot of stuff for purchasing and for sales. You could tell that this park is very new and geared towards urban people. I recommend to come for the firefly season. Would love to do kayaking programs with the rangers in this park too. But it's super popular and hard for accessibility.

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