We visited Congaree National Park in South Carolina during our July 2018 National Parks trip. This park is one of the least visited in the United States. It is often flooded, which makes visiting this location difficult. It is the nature of the area, since it is a floodplain. We were lucky to go when things were dry, mosquitos were minimal, and the river was perfect for canoeing and kayaking.
We started our adventure at this location by kayaking and canoeing Cedar Creek. We used the South Cedar Creek landing which is located just outside the Congaree National Park entrance. It is a great way to view the natural, untouched vegetation in this area. It was a beautiful morning at a location that can be described as tranquil and eerie at the same time. Our photos and video don’t do it justice, but you can get an idea of what Congaree is all about.
We rented a tandem kayak and a triple canoe from Adventure Carolina. I highly recommend this place for rental! I found them via Trip Advisor. They delivered everything to the boat loading for us in advance and had it locked up. We were given the combo to unlock everything and then we put it back in the same place and locked it back up when we were done. We spent about three hours on the river. It truly made our Congaree experience memorable! For renting from Adventure Carolina you can call or text the owner directly at (803) 447-3327.
After our ride down the river we headed to the Congaree Visitor’s center to see their exhibits. This is also where the boardwalk hike begins. Many times a year the boardwalk is under water because of high water levels. We came at the right time because the entire boardwalk was clear of water. It is a two mile hike on the boardwalk that is a loop through the lush, yet swamp like terrain of Congaree. It is an interesting place, unlike other National parks. This park does not have any roads going though through the park, so the only way to see Congaree is to get out of your vehicle and hike. The boardwalk hike is the main hiking and walking trail for visitors. Although there are other trails that begin at various points from the boardwalk.
TIP: If you go to Congaree to visit for a day, be sure to pick up the boardwalk self-guided tour pamphlet. There are 20 numbers along the boardwalk. Inside the pamphlet each of these 20 numbers describes a specific sight, historical fact, or interesting information about Congaree. We learned a great deal, just by walking and reading from the pamphlet each time we saw a number. Below are our photos from the Congaree Vistor’s Center and our hike in Congaree.