Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park photo by Serge Skiba via Shutterstock.

Congaree National Park, in South Carolina, is home to the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern U.S. It’s a watery wonderland ideal for canoeing, birdwatching, and stargazing.

🔗 Website | 🐦 Twitter | 📸 Instagram

Fast Facts

State(s): South Carolina
Area: 26,692.6 acres (108.021 km) – 57th largest national park of 63
Highest Elevation: Old Bluff Road – 140 ft (42.67 m)
Lowest Elevation: Congaree River – 80 ft (24.39 m)
Date Established: November 10, 2003
Annual Visitors: 204,522 visitors in 2022
Nearest Town: Eastover, South Carolina

Recommended Day Hikes

Park Tracker considers a “day hike” to be a hike under 10 miles. Below we provide our top five recommendations inside the park, along with AllTrails links to the hikes.

  1. Boardwalk Loop (2.3 mi, Easy) – An elevated trail showcasing the Congaree Swamp​​.
  2. Weston Lake Loop (4.6 mi, Easy) – Offers views of Cedar Creek and potential wildlife sightings​​.
  3. River Trail (10.4 mi, Easy) – Less traveled, leading to the Congaree River with potential sandbar views​​.
  4. Kingsnake Trail (11.1 mi, Easy) – Explores a remote part, popular for birdwatching​​.

🧗🏻‍♂️ Popular Activities in Congaree National Park

Congaree is about more than just hiking. See below for some of the best non-hiking activities to do in Congaree National Park.

  1. Canoeing or kayaking through the flooded forest
  2. Joining ranger-led nighttime owl prowls
  3. Birdwatching, especially during spring migrations
  4. Attend firefly synchronization events in early summer
  5. Fishing in Cedar Creek

🛎️ Where to Stay Near Congaree National Park

While there are ample camping and vacation rental options near most US national parks, I personally highly prefer staying at Hilton-branded properties when traveling to national parks. As such, below are the five closest Hilton properties to Congaree National Park.

  1. Hotel Location – X mi from park
  2. Hotel Location – X mi from park
  3. Hotel Location – X mi from park
  4. Hotel Location – X mi from park
  5. Hotel Location – X mi from park

🍔 What to Eat Near Congaree National Park

After hiking and exploring Congaree National Park, odds are high you’re going to be hungry. Here are five of the best restaurant options within and near the park.

  1. Restaurant (Food Type) – X mi from park
  2. Restaurant (Food Type) – X mi from park
  3. Restaurant (Food Type) – X mi from park
  4. Restaurant (Food Type) – X mi from park
  5. Restaurant (Food Type) – X mi from park