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Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park






Description of Congaree National Park

Location: Columbia  Map

Area: 21,867.02 acres (88.4927 km2)


100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29061
Tel. (803) 776- 4396 
Open: All year

Information center

Open: all year
Located off S.C. 48, 1.2 miles pass park entrance on National Park road

Pets Leashed. Not allowed on boardwalks.
Entrance fee: Congaree National Park does not charge entrance fees.
Campground: Free permits on two primitive campgrounds
No fires in backcountry camping


Congaree National Park is situated in Richland County, Florida in United States. It protects the largest expanse of temperate primary forest of hardwood and lowland deciduous type remaining in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the 89 km2 national park received this designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign begun in 1969. The lush trees that grow in this alluvial forest are among the highest in the eastern United States. they form one of the highest deciduous temperate forest canopies left in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park of which 60.7 km2 (57%) are, in addition, national wild area.




The Sierra Club launched in 1969 a popular campaign to save this area of primary forest from private owners interested in the relatively high prices of wood. The result of this campaign was the establishment by Congress of the Congaree Swamp National Monument on October 18, 1976. The national monument became a Biosphere Reserve on June 30, 1983 and almost two-thirds of the national monument was named area savage on October 24, 1988, in addition to being designated as an Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy on July 26, 2001. Congress changed the designation of the monument site to Congaree National Park on the 10th November 2003 and at the same time expanded its limits by 18.52 km2. Approximately 105.3 km2 of the park were federally owned in August 2011.




Two of the camp sites are within a quick walk of the parking lot, so pack weight shouldn't be a big concern if you're just looking for a night in the woods. But the closer the site (and one of them is right next to the overnight parking lot), the more crowded the site. Friday and Saturday nights in the summer are particularly a smattering of locals, including Boy Scout troops. So if you're intent on a quiet solo experience, you may want to hoof into the backcountry.

All visitors planning to camp at either the Longleaf or Bluff Campgrounds are required to make reservations via or by calling +1-877-444-6777.

Camping fees:
Longleaf Campground: $10 for a regular tent site; $20 for a group site
Bluff Campground: $5 for a regular tent site
(Senior and Access Pass holders receive a 50% discount on the above fees)

It's wet. It's jungly. It's full of things that crawl and bite and might like to have you for a snack. But the trees are spectacular, and the wildlife only gets better as you go down the trail. It's very flat, but it's also muddy, so strong shoes are advisable to avoid snakes and keep your feet dry. The paths are generally very well-marked, and maps at the visitor's center are quite reliable. Visitors are still scant here, and most of the locals who visit don't stray beyond the boardwalk, so a trip to the backcountry leaves you mostly alone. Due to the close proximity of Columbia and the flat landscape, cell phone reception is fairly good. A trip into this wild, almost primordial landscape, will leave you feeling like a triceratops might lumber into your path.

Camping in the backcountry is free and requires a permit that can be obtained at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center daily 9AM to 5PM.





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