|Address:||100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, SC 29061, USA|
|Working:||Open 24 hours Open 24 hours Open 24 hours Open 24 hours Open 24 hours Open 24 hours Open 24 hours|
Cam Tu Pham
Probably one of the worst parks weve been to as far as rules and regulations go. We were on a road trip and looking for a nice park to sleep in our car before it got too dark. Drove for hours to get to this park since it had overnight campsites. Found out you couldnt camp without reserving a spot on the phone or online and pay with a card in advance. Which was fine because we would sleep in our car anyway. Found out you are not allowed to sleep in your car. Asked the ranger if we payed the camp fee if we could sleep in our own car in a parking spot...couldnt do that either. Doesnt make any sense. Youre not allowed to pay for a campsite when you arrive at the park with cash like every other campground in the nation, youre not allowed to sleep in your own car even if you pay for a campsite, which doesnt make sense because your car is going to be parked in the parking lot overnight when youre camping there anyway. So we had to drive out of the park in pitch dark, (which was dangerous because there is wildlife that would jump across the roads in front of your car at night) to find another place to sleep. We did get to see fireflies there which is why Im not giving this a 1 star.
Congaree National Park greatly depends on the time of year and weather condition both the day of and prior to your visit. The best time to visit is in the winter when it is a bit too cold for most insects, and the large and hindering overgrowth of plants are not covering most of the non-boardwalk trails. Even in early spring or late fall youll find yourself covered several dozen spiderwebs, multiple mosquito bites (unless you use spray in which case only several bites), and pieces of twigs...and thats from staying ON the trail. You also need to keep precipitation in mind as parts of the trail, even the boardwalk, will flood over. And although they call in the river trail, youll walk 10 miles, 6.3 miles where the River Trail actually starts, but youll only be along the river 1.2 of those miles and there are only three places you can actually see the river. In summary: best to enjoy during the winter with less bugs and plants in the way but still beautiful scenery and wildlife. Keep recent precipitation in mind. And be ready to climb under or over fallen trees if you get off the boardwalk.
If you love old growth bottomland swamps, then this national park should be on your bucket list. Congaree is a small National Park and may not be as awe inspiring like the crown jewels (Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, or Yellowstone), but its well worth your time to enjoy the extensive miles of boardwalks. I recommend taking the 4.5 mile Weston Lake Loop Trail to get a variety both on and off the boardwalk. Best time of the year to visit is either during the spring, late fall, and winter to avoid the mosquitoes. You probably will not get to see lots of wildlife like the big game mammals of the other national parks, but you will more than likely be rewarded by the mysterious calls of the Barred Owl ("Who...Who Cooks For You) or the sounds of woodpeckers pecking and drilling throughout the day. Make sure you use the restroom before your walk / hike as there are no facilities away from the visitor center. Also, take bottled water and/or snacks with you. Enjoy your visit!
This is a small (by national park standards) but very nice park. The 2.2 mile boardwalk is wonderful with 20 stops to observe various items. About 1/3 of it is newly renovated (and completed as of late May 2016). The story is interesting. We went on a very rainy day so we didnt explore beyond the boardwalk. Be prepared for bugs. We went on a day where the mosquito meter is at a "2" out of 6. We were not bothered by mosquitos but we had deer fly buzzing around us, which is very annoying. Since its low land swamp, it will flood regularly so check for conditions before you go to make sure its not flooded. There is ranger led canoe trip on Fridays for free, as well as ranger led hikes. The park is FREE! Did I say the park is FREE? Its also only 30 minutes or so from downtown Columbia so its very convenient.
I visited this weekend for the scenery and to also attend the Saturday Nature Discovery Walk. This was my first time visiting Congaree National Park and any swamp for that matter. Make sure to bring bug spray. On most of the board walk it is okay, as I was there early in the morning before 9:00 a.m. However, once you reach the back end of the boardwalk where it leads into the trail areas the mosquitos become atrocious and swarm in front of your face!There is a lot to take in and you could easily spend the entire day at this park. Toured the entire board walk and hiked the Bluff Trail. Definitely plan to go back soon to visit the Sandbar by the Congaree River off the River Trail. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone that is interested in nature and the outdoors!
I have been to many national parks and The Congaree is one of my favorites. Reason being is that its is easily accessible to all visitors and everyone will enjoy the features. You can go there for an hour and see a lot of beautiful sites as you can spend the day and get just the same and more. Canoeing through Cedar Creek is an Excellent experience. I think the Most important thing about our countries national parks is learning enough about its features and history before and during your exploration. This enables you to get the most out of it. The Congaree has a very interesting history besides it being one of a kind. ENJOY !!
Wonderful National Park! Had no idea it even existed until recently. Very underrated. The park is incredibly lush and green. There are a large number of hiking trails and a couple miles of boardwalks. We spent 3 hours hiking here and only covered about half the trails so there is a full day of hiking to be had. We are planning on doing some canoeing on the waters next time we go back! The park and area routinely floods over during certain times of the year. Please check in advance about flooding on the trails and the roads in the nearby area. You may need to adjust your route depending on which direction you are coming from.
Admittedly, I was shocked to find out there was a national park outside of Columbia. I was raised in the South and never knew this park existed although I consider myself an outdoorsman. I was more shocked to find out this park is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited. Take your time to take in the unique landscape with bald cypress and pine trees. Witness the water logged swamp with all its biodiversity. This is one of those parks that you have to look closely at whats in front of you to see the beauty instead of the large sweeping landscapes of some other parks.
BEAUTIFUL WALK and No bugs yet but I saw them skimming the water so I can only imagine how bad it may get. Amazing big trees growing in the swamps. My dog broke loose from me a scattered a herd of wild boar through the muck. One piglet got seperated from the group and I feared my dog would get it, BUT a huge boar charged towards the dog. The dog veered left, the hog retrieved the baby to the right, and all was well again. I hike with bear, moose, coyote and deer but forgot about the wildhogs.. I will be aware from now on. They are low and can hide better than coyotes.