Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
Congaree National Park in South Carolina protects the old growth forest on the floodplain of the Congaree River. We thought it a swamp because the Cypress trees we saw were submerged in water. It is technically not a swamp, but a ‘bottomland’ subject to periodic flooding.
The Sierra Club and grassroots environmental groups fought to save Congaree from destruction by the logging industry in the 1960s. This park preserves one of the largest collections of ‘Champion Trees.’ A Champion Tree is the largest known of its species.
Congress passed legislation to declare Congaree a National Monument in 1976 and upgraded it to National Park status in 2003.
We stopped at Congaree on a road trip in the Spring of 2010. First, we picked up a Junior Ranger booklet and perused the exhibits in the visitors center. We watched the short film and then walked the two-mile boardwalk loop. It was quite humid and buggy, so we were grateful for the elevated path.
There were only a handful of others in the park, so we pretty much had the loop to ourselves. At one point, we startled a snake sunning itself in the middle of the walkway.
Location: 100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, South Carolina
Designation: National Park
Date designated/established: November 10, 2003
Date of my visit: April 8, 2010