Congaree Swamp National Monument Things to Do

  • Weston Lake
    Weston Lake
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  • Dwarf Palmetto
    Dwarf Palmetto
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  • Congaree River
    Congaree River
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Most Recent Things to Do in Congaree Swamp National Monument

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    Harry Hampton Visitor Center

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Jun 20, 2009

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    After you get to the park and find a place to leave your car, the first stop is the visitor center. Here, they have a number of displays regarding the ecosystems in the park, as well as restrooms, and folks on duty to answer your questions. The center is open starting at 8:30 in the morning, and stays open until 5:00 - 7:00 at night depending on the time of the year. You can pick up a brochure about the Boardwalk trail, that starts behind the visitor center. Maybe most important is the mosquito meter just outside the doors that registers from a 1 (all clear) to a 6 (war zone). We arrived during a 4 (severe.) Hard to imagine a 5 or 6!

    Ready to go!

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    Weston Lake

    by goingsolo Written Nov 27, 2008

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    The Weston Lake Loop was a good option for a short hike into the forest.. The trail is supposedly 4.6 miles (it seemed shorter), and its very well marked and easy to follow. It passes through the old growth forest and alongside the lake, passing the northern bank of Cedar Creek along the way back to the visitor center. Although I heard some sounds, I didn't see any wildlife until getting back on the boardwalk where there were 2 wild boar (or pigs? hard to tell) heading towards the forest.

    Its nearly completely flat and was an easy walk through a peaceful forest. There are two entrances to the trail from the boardwalk. The trail also intersects some of the longer trails, which can be used to extend your hike or for hiking to the Congaree river, about 10 miles away.

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    Boardwalk trail

    by goingsolo Written Nov 27, 2008

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    The boardwalk trail is the easiest and quickest way to see the swamp. Along the boardwalk trail you will also find loblolly pines, and, if you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of wildlife. Since the park encompasses more than the swamp, I'd highly recommend hiking at least one of the other trails to catch at least a glimpse of the forest. But, if time is short, the boardwalk trail will at least give you the opportunity to see the swamp and the tall pines.

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    Stop at the Visitor Center

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 27, 2005

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    If you are plannig an overnight hiking or canoeing trip, stop at the visitor center for a free camping permit, up-to-date information and a trail map.
    Canoeists can explore parts of the park where foot travel is difficult. There is a marked canoe trail on Cedar Creek.

    The Visitor Center
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    Have a Picnic

    by Basaic Written Nov 1, 2011

    There are a few picnic tables in a covered area near the visitors center if you wish to enjoy a meal in the outdoors. Beware during mosquito season, though!

    Picnic Area
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    Hiking Trails

    by Basaic Written Nov 1, 2011

    There are several foot trails you can hike through the park. However, some areas are only accessible by boat.

    I have more details about the trails under my Sports Tips.

    Hiking Trail
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    Numbers and Guides

    by Basaic Written Nov 1, 2011

    Along the boardwalk trail are numbers that correspond to a guide you can purchase in the visitors center. This will teach you more about life in a floodplain forest. Hope no one has Triskadecaphobia.

    Numbers for the Guides
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    Weston Lake

    by Basaic Written Nov 1, 2011

    One of the prettier sights along the trail is Weston Lake. You can get a nice view of Weston Lake from the accessible Boardwalk Trail or take the Weston Lake Trail (not accessible) for a closer look.

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    Plantlife

    by Basaic Written Oct 27, 2011

    There are also over 80 species of trees in 22 different plant communities in the park. The abundant water supply supports a wide variety of fungi-type plants.

    Fungi Fungi Mushrooms
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    Wildlife

    by Basaic Written Oct 27, 2011

    There is abundant wildlife in the park to include: 170 bird species, 60 reptile and amphibian species, 49 fish species, many species of inescts, and a variety of mammals.

    Squirrel Butterfly Lizard Spider
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    Visitors Center Museum

    by Basaic Written Oct 27, 2011

    The visitors’ center has several nice displays depicting the history of the area and the plants and animals that live here.

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    cane stand

    by doug48 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    pictured is a stand of cane. cane is an indigenous grass that looks like bamboo. cane is common in the wet areas of park.

    cane stand
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    • Hiking and Walking

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Congaree Swamp National Monument Things to Do

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