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Overview

A relatively young national park having earned its designation in 2003, Congaree National Park has long been an important place. A Designated Wilderness Area, International Biosphere Preserve and Globally Important Bird Area, the park protects 22,000 acres of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest – the largest area of its kind in North America.

The Congaree River and its swampy tributaries weave through this diverse and unique floodplain ecosystem, past knobby-kneed bald cypress trees, water tupelo and spectacular towering pines. Visitors can amble along a 2.4-mile elevated boardwalk, fish for bass, catfish and pike (South ...

A relatively young national park having earned its designation in 2003, Congaree National Park has long been an important place. A Designated Wilderness Area, International Biosphere Preserve and Globally Important Bird Area, the park protects 22,000 acres of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest – the largest area of its kind in North America.

The Congaree River and its swampy tributaries weave through this diverse and unique floodplain ecosystem, past knobby-kneed bald cypress trees, water tupelo and spectacular towering pines. Visitors can amble along a 2.4-mile elevated boardwalk, fish for bass, catfish and pike (South Carolina fishing license required) or kayak on the 20-mile canoe trail. Scientific and environmental research is ongoing in the park. Rangers lead interpretive walks, environmental education programs and, on weekends, free canoe tours. The park is 17 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The park is open year-round. The best time to visit is during spring, fall and winter, so you can avoid the sweaty heat of summer.