South Carolina’s Congaree National Park is home to one of the country’s oldest and tallest forests. A unique landscape characterized by forest, wetlands, and the Cedar Creek, Congaree offers an almost eerie atmosphere deep in the heart of South Carolina. This park attracts visitors who love canoeing, hiking, camping, fishing and more.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Some of the most popular activities in Congaree National park are canoeing and kayaking. Bring your own canoe or kayak and ride through the marked Cedar Creek Canoe Trail as you take in views of the fascinating scenery and catch glimpses of native wildlife, including wading birds, turtles, river otters, deer, and alligators. If you don’t have your own canoe or kayak, you can easily rent them in the nearby town of Columbia.
There are many hiking trails to explore throughout Congaree National Park. The Boardwalk Trail offers a short and scenic trek through the forest and other backcountry trails provide more rugged hiking options.
You’ll have several opportunities for camping in Congaree National Park if you so choose. All campers must have a reservation at either Longleaf Campground or Bluff Campground. If you prefer to camp in the backcountry, you must have a valid permit.
Fishing is a popular activity in the park, but to do so you’ll need to have a valid South Carolina state fishing license. Be sure to read up on the park’s fishing rules and regulations before heading out.
There are a variety of ranger-led programs that happen periodically in Congaree National park. Take a guided nature walk through the park while a park ranger explains what you’re seeing and offers a bit of Congaree’s rich history. Free guided wilderness canoe tours also happen in spring and fall and require reservations.