Congaree National Park is an American national park in Columbia, South Carolina. The park received its official designation in 2003 as the 26th U.S. National Park. The park's boardwalk loop trail runs through an old-growth forest that is among the tallest in the Eastern United States. The forest is full of giant hardwoods, some of which are more than 500 years old and the tallest known eastern deciduous tree, a loblolly pine, which reaches a height of over 100 feet (30 m).
In addition to the old-growth forest, Congaree National Park contains floodplains, Cypress swamps, and upland woods. The park is home to many animals including deer, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bobcats, beavers, and alligators. There are also many bird species including woodpeckers, owls, hawks, and warblers. The park is an excellent place for bird watching, and it also contains the Congaree River, which is popular for canoeing and kayaking.
Congaree National Park is located in South Carolina's Richland County, about 20 miles (32 km) southwest of the state capital, Columbia. The park covers 26,546 acres (10,752 ha) of land, and it is the largest protected area of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States.
The park was established in 1976 as Congaree Swamp National Monument. It was designated as a national park in 2003. The park's name comes from the Congaree River, which runs through the park.
The Congaree River is formed by the confluence of the Wateree River and the Saluda River. It flows for about 50 miles (80 km) through the park before emptying into the Santee River. The park includes all or part of 22 old-growth forests. The forests are dominated by oak and hickory trees, and they are some of the tallest and oldest trees in the eastern United States.
The park's old-growth forests are among the most diverse in the world. They contain more than 50 species of trees, including bald cypress, sweetgum, maple, beech, dogwood, tulip poplar, and oak. The forest also contains many plants, including ferns, mosses, and wildflowers.
The park is home to many animals, including deer, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bobcats, beavers, and alligators. There are also many bird species, including woodpeckers, owls, hawks, and warblers. The park is an excellent place for bird watching.
Congaree National Park offers many recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching. The park also has a visitor center, which is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. There is no entrance fee to the park.
Photos of Congaree National Park
A wooden path in the middle of the forest in Congaree National Park (Unsplash.com)
Forested wetlands in Congaree National Park (Wikimedia.org)
Kayakers on a river in the forest in Congaree National Park (Wikimedia.org)
Country road thru the forest in Congaree National Park (Unspash.com)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Congaree National Park
Where is Congaree National Park located?
Congaree National Park is located in South Carolina, about an hour's drive from both Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina.
What is Congaree National Park known for?
Congaree is known for its large expanse of old-growth forest, which is the largest in the southeastern United States. The Park is also home to the Congaree River, which is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the country.
What to do in Congaree National Park?
There are plenty of things to do in the park. Hiking, canoeing, and bird watching are just a few of the activities that visitors can enjoy.
Are dogs allowed at Congaree National Park?
Dogs are allowed on the trails at Congaree National Park, but must be kept on a leash at all times.