Congaree National Park- Friday - June 29, 2012

Just about 30 miles southeast of Columbia, SC is Congaree National Park.  We had been here several years ago to go on a park sponsored canoe trip on Cedar Creek.  They provided the canoes, it was a ranger guided trip and it was free!!!  Check it out if you know you are going to be in the area.  But you have to book early as they fill up quickly.

When we were here last time, we did not get to walk the trails of the park.  So that was on our radar for today.  Since the temperature was expected to climb well above 100 degrees, we arrived at the park when it opened.

Our first stop was the visitor's center.

We watched a good orientation film
about this unique forest and floodplain. 

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

After the film, we got a map
suggestions from the park ranger.

She suggested we do parts of several trails:
the Boardwalk, Sims, Wise Lake and Weston Lake Trails.

All together it would be about 3.5 miles. We would be finished
before noon and the weather got really hot!!! 

With map in hand, we headed to the boardwalk,
directly behind the visitor's center.

Since this is an area that floods regularly,
the boardwalk is raised to protect the environment
still allow access to the habitat. 

The other trails are only accessible in dry conditions.

We saw two lakes, actually more like large ponds;o))
But they were interesting none the less!!

Wise Lake

Weston Lake

Lots of interesting things along the way....

Mushrooms growing up the tree

Pretty Blue Flowers

Cool looking moth or butterfly?!?!

Feral Pig ;o((
They are having a major problem with these animals.
Their population has grown so large that the damage they
do to the habitats is an issue!!!

Turtles at Weston Lake

But really,

it is all about the TREES!!!

Huge Cypress
with thousands of knees everywhere!!

You felt like you were in a cathedral.

The shade and water were very welcoming!!

Oh, did mention there were mosquitos;o((

We used bug spray,
which seemed to be effective unless we stop. 

Then they just swarmed;o(((

But mosquitos, heat and all...

It was worth the walk.


Everyone of these beautiful pine and hardwood trees
made be think of  Sherry and David:o))
Those two would have been out here forever,
hugging all these giants!!!

We had just about reached the end of our walk
when we came to an area with many downed trees;o((
On September 21, 1989, hurricane Hugo left its mark.
Small tornados tore through Congaree
leaving large open swaths in the canopy.

That was 23 years ago.
The young trees are just beginning to renew that area :o))

Nature is truly AMAZING!!!

By the time we reached the end of the boardwalk,
the temperature was heading towards 100 degrees!!

Time to head for the air-conditioned car
go find the South Carolina Farmers Market. 

During our hike at Congaree, we heard an explosion.
Just one loud boom...nothing more?!?!

When we got on the interstate,
we saw where that loud noise had come from.
However, we had no idea what it was.

We crossed the Congaree River, which is the source of
the flooding waters for Congaree National Park.

We finally found the farmers market.
We were very disappointed;o((

This market is really set up for wholesales buyers.
It isn't really a friendly market for individuals,
unless you want to buy in bulk.

Well, that will not work when you live in an RV;o))

So we got a watermelon and some tomatoes.
We'll have to find a roadside stand elsewhere!!

But, we did find out that the explosion we saw
was at the large recycling center.

We ate our packed lunches as we drove north
on I-77 heading to our son's house. 

It definitely was time to get inside
in the air-conditioning!!!

We had a great afternoon playing some cards
enjoyed a wonderful Spaghetti Dinner:o)))

By the time we got back to the motorhome,
the temperature had dropped enough that
our air-conditioner could keep us comfortable.

Tomorrow is suppose to hit 110 degrees.

Back to Brian's to play some more cards!!!


  1. GOOD GRIEF - you'd better just come on down here with us. Our high is about 92. Horribly huid but it isn't 100 or 110.

    This looks like a great park and is on our list right this minute ALTHOUGH even we tree huggers would probably not be hugging in 100 degrees.

    Great post on this place I had no idea even existed. It doesn't see to be in any of those National Parks books. David is loving the idea of trees as tall as 16 story buildings. Maybe once we get out of here.......

  2. I'm not sure there is any place to go where it's cooler this summer. Everyone seems to be in the same boat. Nice you can go to Brian's though. Nothing like a good card game when you're stuck in the A/C!!!

  3. Thanks for the tip on another great CG near Columbia.

    As for hugging the trees, I'd better leave that for Sherry and David, because I'd probably hurt myself with improper technique!

  4. Looks like a great place to visit! Another one is added to the list. Yeegads you guys are in the hot weather! Bummer on the farmer's market.

  5. This heat wave has gotta end soon! I don't want to complain too much, but this is ridiculous :)

  6. It's been too hot to hike here but I love looking out the window at the trees. Give Baby a hug.

  7. Oh my -- 110!!?? Thank goodness for A/C!!