Paddle Among Giants at Congaree National Park

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In the heart of South Carolina, just 20 miles from the state’s capital, Columbia, there stands a miraculous example of what happens when an ecosystem remains undisturbed and nature can flourish. This place is Congaree National Forest, a sprawling stretch of forest, swamp and wildlife. Forests like the wetland woods of Congaree National Park are essential for life on Earth. Living, breathing, towering hardwood trees such as the knobby-kneed cyprus produce the air we depend on for survival, and thus we preserve them and the environments in which they thrive.

Find your tranquility in Congaree National Park

If thrill and adventure are what you’re after, Congaree National Park is likely not the ideal destination. Congaree River does not offer the breakneck speeds and intimidating whitewater of many of America’s wildest waterways. However, if you’re in search of a quiet place to reconnect with nature and appreciate the work of ancient giants, well then Congaree National Park awaits your visit.

At Congaree National Park the water hardly moves, and yet at times throughout the year it covers almost every inch of the more than 40 square miles of bottomland forest. Up to 10 times annually, rain drops heavily and floods the plains of this vital forest, granting bountiful opportunities to travel amongst swamp-growing bald cypress by kayak and canoe. Thousands of visitors traverse Congaree National Park in a canoe, either on their own or as part of a ranger-guided tour.

The only thing you have to be wary of when you visit the wetlands of Congaree National Park is the nosy mosquito. Rangers warn that you take a peek at the mosquito index before making your journey out on the waters of Congaree River. If you bring your bug spray and are aware of the risk, you’ll find no better place in America to get in touch with your natural side and experience the tranquility of life tapped from the source.