Congaree National Park
National Park Road
Hopkins, SC 29061-9118
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.
Page 1 of 1