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Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park - BEST Places to Picnic

100 National Park Road
Hopkins, SC 29061-9118

By Phone
Visitor Information
803-776-4396

WELCOME to Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the park is 22,000 acre. 

The lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern U.S., forming one of the highest natural canopies remaining in the world. Bald cypress is a common tree in the park. 

The Congaree River flows through the park. 15,000 acres or about 70 percent of the park is designated wilderness area.

While largely recognized as a sanctuary for animal and plant life, Congaree National Park features primitive campsites and offers hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching. 

Large animals possibly seen in the park include bobcats, black bears, deer, feral pigs, feral dogs, coyotes, and turkeys. Its waters contain interesting creatures like amphibians, turtles, snakes, alligators, and many types of fish like bowfin, largemouth bass, panfish, catfish, and pike. Primitive and backcountry camping is available. 

Hiking trails are found in the park as well as a 20-mile marked canoe trail on Cedar Creek.

In 1969, the Sierra Club launched a "grass roots" campaign to save this area of old growth forest from private landowners interested in the relatively high timber prices. The result of this campaign was the establishment by Congress of "Congaree Swamp National Monument" on October 18, 1976. 

It became an International Biosphere Reserve on June 30, 1983. Over two-thirds of the park was designated a wilderness area on October 24, 1988, and it became an Important Bird Area on July 26, 2001. 

Following an increase in its authorized boundary, it became a national park on November 10, 2003.

Most visitors to the park walk along the Boardwalk Loop, an elevated walkway through the swampy environment that protects delicate fungi and plant life at ground level. 

Boat rides through the swamp are conducted for free every Sunday.

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