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Congaree National Park

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Congaree National Park is located in the southern part of central South Carolina in the eastern United States. The park covers an area of 41.1 square miles (106.3 sq km).

Congaree is recognized for its outstanding biodiversity as well as being the largest collection of bottomland hardwood forests throughout the entire United States.  The trees represent some of the tallest trees on the eastern side of the country. This forest creates one of the highest canopies of temperate deciduous forest in the world.

The park is renowned for its “champion trees” featuring the tallest representations for 15 different species.  The leading champion trees include:

  • 167-foot (51 m) 361-point loblolly pine
  • 157-foot (48 m) 384-point sweetgum
  • 154-foot (47 m) 465 cherry bark oak
  • 135-foot (41 m) 354-point American elm
  • 133-foot (41 m) 356-point swamp chestnut oak
  • 131-foot (40 m) 371-point over cup oak
  • 127-foot (39 m) 219-point common persimmon

Along with the spectacular forest, the park is home to an array of wildlife species that also draws visitors with hopes of sightings.  Popular animal species include armadillo, bobcat, coyote, deer, feral dogs, feral pigs, otter, raccoon, and turkey.

The Congaree River is a central part of the park and flows right through this pristine wilderness area.  The forest has been recognized as an Important Bird Area as well as an Old Growth Forest.

Historically, the area has been referred to as a swamp, however, it is actually bottomland that can be influenced by pending heavy rains.

Highlights

One of the main reasons that people explore Congaree National Park is because of the massive Champion Trees which feature some of the best examples from around the world.  Hiking through the various trails and boardwalk provides an opportunity to become one with nature standing in awe of the towering trees while listening to the sounds of the serenading birds and flowing waters of the river and creek.

The park is home to the tallest loblolly pine with a height of 169 feet (51.4 m) as well as the largest at 1,483 cubic feet (42 cu m).  In addition to the towering champion trees, there are magnificent cypress trees that are over 500 years old.

This is one of the most unique places in the United States and well deservedly a national park.

Congaree National Park Trails:

Congaree offers some of the most tranquil trees that meander through the bottomland and river valley area.

Congaree Highlights

  • Champion Trees
  • Congaree River
  • Loblolly Pine

Park Map

Sources